Developing and Implementing Farm Stress Training to Address Agricultural Producer Mental Health


Farmers and ranchers (agricultural producers) have higher psychological distress and suicide rates than the general population. Poorer mental health status and outcomes among producers are often attributed to the continuously challenging economic, social, and climate-related changes to agriculture as an occupation and industry. This article describes the development of a training program for agribusiness professionals from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (N = 500) who work with producers, as they regularly interact with producers and thus are in a position to readily offer helpful mental health resources. The goal of the program was for agribusiness professionals to build skills and confidence to identify and respond to distressed producers. The educational program was offered primarily online and included a 1-day in-person training to practice skills to communicate with distressed producers and refer them to appropriate mental health resources. Evaluation of the program demonstrated participants experienced gains in knowledge and skills related to identifying and helping distressed producers.




Cuthbertson, Courtney, Alison Brennan, John Shutske, Lori Zierl, Andrea Bjornestad, Katelyn Macy, Pam Schallhorn, et al. “Developing and Implementing Farm Stress Training to Address Agricultural Producer Mental Health.” Health Promotion Practice (June 9, 2020): 152483992093184. doi:10.1177/1524839920931849.
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