On Wednesday, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture [NIFA] announced $25 million for 50 grants supporting Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network State Department of Agriculture projects. The USDA said long before the pandemic caused an increase in stress around the world, stress-related mental health was already a rising concern across farm communities coast to coast.
Included in this week’s funding was $500,000 for the Washington state Department of Agriculture to support state and local mental health efforts. The WSDA will collaborate with Washington Department of Health and Washington State University Extension to create two programs to address suicide prevention and behavioral health.
“Our farmers and ranchers have been working under intense conditions over the last year and a half to continue ensuring our food supply chain remains uninterrupted, and our grocery store shelves remain full,” central Washington Representative Dan Newhouse said of the grant money. “This grant funding will go a long way towards helping these men and women deal with the stress this has caused in a healthy, manageable way.”
USDA said FRSAN offers a conduit to improving behavioral health awareness, literacy, and more favorable outcomes for them and their families.
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