University of Missouri Extension and Show-Me Farm Safety recently released a new Together We Can toolkit to help rural Missourians access mental health resources.
“Missourians are strong and resilient in the face of the challenges and uncertainty that can come with farm life,” said Marshall Stewart, MU vice chancellor for extension and engagement and University of Missouri System chief engagement officer. “MU Extension supports Missourians as they meet those challenges – including providing accessible mental health resources that help keep farmers, their families and their businesses going strong.”
MU Extension safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch said economic uncertainties, changes in commodity prices and ongoing weather issues add to the daily stresses of farming and ranching. Rural Missourians sometimes encounter barriers to receiving timely help because mental health services may not be available in all rural counties. Additionally, many farm families lack adequate insurance coverage for mental health services.
Missouri’s Together We Can campaign runs May 1-29. Weekly topics are Referral Resources, May 9-15; Recognizing Signs & Symptoms, May 16-22; and Managing Stress, May 23-29.
“With increased pressures on today’s farmers, we want to let farmers know there are ways to fight stigma and provide a safe environment to address mental health concerns,” Funkenbusch said.