Tips & Resources for Taking Care of Your Mental Health
Farming can be extremely stressful at times. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression or another mental health challenge, know that you are not alone.
Check out the following resources and follow #FarmStateofMind on Facebook and Twitter to hear other peoples’ stories and show your support. A healthy farm is nothing without a healthy you.
Resources for Managing Stress, Anxiety or Depression
To find relief or better prepare yourself for future challenges, browse these articles, videos and other helpful links.
Professional Help: Mental Health Organizations
As farmers, we’re raised to be pretty tough. As a result, it can feel difficult or awkward to reach out — but that is often the best way to move through stress and anxiety.
If you’re wondering how you can access mental health resources or if you are concerned about costs, check out these helpful links:
Supporting Loved Ones, Neighbors and Others in Need
When a person is experiencing a mental health challenge, they may not even realize it. Here’s how you can identify who may need help, what you can say to them and other ways you can get involved.
Signs of stress
- Physical: headaches, backaches, exhaustion, frequent sickness, upset stomach, ulcers, trouble sleeping
- Emotional: irritability, depression, anger, anxiety, lack of confidence, sadness, bitterness, feeling discouraged or hopeless
- Mental: memory loss, lack of concentration, difficulty making decisions
- Behavioral: substance abuse, violence, decline in the care of livestock or domestic animals, increase in farm accidents, overeating or loss of appetite
- Relationships: loss of humor, withdrawal, decreased interest in family activities or community events, verbal outbursts, difficulty communicating
Learn more: Warning Signs and How to Help from NY FarmNet
How to talk about it
Although it may feel like a difficult subject to approach, you can start the conversation in any number of ways:
Acknowledge what they’re going through
“I know a lot of people have to plant late this year, which has got to be stressful. How are you holding up?”
Remind them of something they’ve said, and express interest
“I heard you say your meeting with John was a disaster. Can you tell me about it?”
Share a habit that you’ve seen change
“I’ve noticed you haven’t come to coffee for a long time. Are you doing okay?”
Don’t wait for them to ask
“You seem to have a lot on your mind. How can I help?”
If they’re willing to reach out, encourage them
“I’ve heard that talking to [a counselor, a doctor, a religious or spiritual leader, etc.] can be really helpful. Have you considered that?”
Try not to compare their challenges to someone else’s or minimize what they’re going through. What matters most is showing genuine care and empathy.
Support others in your community and beyond:
Share a message of support with #FarmStateOfMind on Facebook or Twitter