Statistics show more and more farmers, young, old, male, female, struggle with mental health. In an effort to help the agriculture community, Oregon State University has launched a new on-line resource, the “Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network”, better known as Farm-SAN. OSU’s Cassie Bouska said currently there’s a stigma associated with mental health in the farming community that needs to be overcome.
“I think there is a perception that if you’re struggling with those sorts of problems, it’s maybe a character flaw. I would encourage people to take a step back and realize that mental health problems like chronic depression, anxiety, things like that can actually be, I would consider them like an illness, I just think of it as having the flu basically, you’re not feeling well.”
She noted between the weather, fluctuating commodity prices, state, national and international issues as well as a lot of isolation, it’s very common for producers to feel sad, depressed or even worse. She notes Farm-SAN is a great place to start to learn about the real problems farmers face, the resources that are available, and what you can do to help a neighbor that may be struggling. Bouska said one of the success stories she’s more proud of came from an OSU Ag student.
“She took the training and she was like ‘Oh my gosh, I did not know any of this. And I didn’t know how big of a deal it was. I didn’t know how to help somebody and now I have the tools to do it, and I’m telling all of my friends to take it next time.’.”
Click Here learn more about Farm-SAN, or to sign up for their next training course Tuesday April 6th
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