America’s farmers and ranchers are resilient, but even the hardiest face mental health issues. In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is hosting a free, three-day virtual meeting to highlight this important, yet often overlooked, issue. The title of the event is “Sustainable Livelihoods and Behavioral Health: Strategies and Partnerships to Address Farm Stress and Suicide”. The event brings together leaders from USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), farmers and ranchers, technical assistance providers, as well as individuals and other strategic partners, to focus on current rural mental health challenges. The event will focus on the federal government’s response across various agencies, as well as best practices and strategies for addressing stress and mental health issues on the farm and ranch.
Main takeaways include:
– Information on the federal agency’s response to farm stress, including initiatives such as the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) and the national 988 mental health crisis hotline.
– Presentations from the USDA Rural Health Liaison Team and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies to raise awareness of an issue that has often been stigmatized.
– Regional interactive breakout sessions with Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network partners, Rural Opioid Technical Assistance recipients, and regional Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) staff.
– Capacity building trainings and workshops for USDA staff, technical assistance providers and farmer-serving organizations, as well as clinicians and behavioral health providers.
The virtual event takes place May 17, 18, and 19 from 1-5 p.m. EDT. Register today and find more information at https://www.usda.gov/partnerships/other or contact [email protected]