Focusing On Mental Health In May

May is national Mental Health Awareness Month and the National Farm Medicine Center has joined Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and a coalition of other agricultural organizations to support rural residents in looking after their farm neighbors who might be struggling with increased stress.

Through its #FarmNeighborsCare campaign, this coalition will be hosting webinars, promoting resources on social media, and running a campaign called “Heroes of Hope” to highlight rural heroes who have instilled hope in farmers and farm-related businesses with acts large and small.

“Mental health is a serious topic in rural Wisconsin,” said Dr. Casper Bendixsen, Director of the National Farm Medicine Center. “Farm Medicine is committed to giving farmers the resources and opportunities they need to reach out if they are struggling, or to help family and friends in need of mental health support. Farming is as much about physical wellness as it is about mental and emotional wellness.”
Did you know?

  • Studies over the past few decades have consistently found farmers and farmworkers at a higher risk of death by suicide compared to other occupational groups.
  • 91 percent of rural adults say mental health is important to them and their family.
  • 31 percent of rural adults have personally sought help for a mental health condition, and 24 percent have a family member who has sought care for a mental health condition.

Mental Health Webinars are scheduled for May 12, 19, 26 from noon to 1. To participate in the social media campaign and register for the webinars, visit our #FarmNeighborsCare webpage
To nominate a Hero of Hope, visit www Who’s a hero? Somebody who helped another person through a tough time, perhaps assisting with harvest, delivering meals and generally “being there” to listen. Nominations will be accepted May 1 through May 21. One nominee will be recognized as the grand prize winner, and four nominees will be named runners-up, with prize packages provided by local sponsors.

The #FarmNeighborsCare coalition includes producer groups, Extension, health care providers and other organizations. Farm Neighbors Care was initiated by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and has become a collaborative effort between many agricultural organizations in the state.

Partnering groups include but are not limited to: AgrAbility of WisconsinDairy Business AssociationDairy Farmers of WisconsinEdge Dairy Farmer CooperativeFarmer Angel NetworkInsight FSNational Farm Medicine CenterProfessional Dairy ProducersRural Mutual Insurance CompanySouthwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program, Inc.,Wisconsin Cattlemen’s AssociationWisconsin Christmas Tree Producers AssociationWisconsin Corn Growers AssociationWisconsin Farm Bureau FederationWisconsin Farm Center (DATCP), Wisconsin Farmers UnionWisconsin Pork AssociationWisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers AssociationWisconsin Soybean Marketing Board and the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.

When loved ones, neighbors or others you care about are experiencing mental health challenges, they may not even realize it. Visit Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation for tips on how to identify someone who might be at risk, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline available 24 hours a day in English and Spanish languages: 1-800-273-8255.