WASHINGTON, D.C. – Farm Credit has partnered with AgriSafe Network to support its Total Farmer Health campaign. The program will educate rural health professionals on the mental health risks faced by farmers and ranchers and trains them to integrate basic mental health screenings into their primary care practices.
“The name of the program, Total Farmer Health, says it all. This grant will help improve access to mental health care in rural America,” said Farm Credit Council CEO Todd Van Hoose. “As we commemorate Mental Health Month in May, Farm Credit hopes to play a role in helping improve the mental health resources available to agricultural producers across the country.”
Farmers and ranchers face a number of barriers to accessing mental health care. Farmers struggling with mental health issues are often more likely to seek help from their primary care practitioner than from mental health service providers, due to perceived stigma. Many rural areas lack specific mental health services entirely, making primary care practitioners an even more vital resource for producers and other rural residents in need of care. This funding will help better prepare these primary caregivers to address farmers’ mental health needs.
Farm Credit joins CHS in this partnership that will allow AgriSafe to train 300 rural primary care professionals on integrating farmer mental health services within primary care settings.