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The Missouri Department of Agriculture is recognizing May as Mental Health Awareness Month.
“In 2022, Missouri farmers, ranchers and their families face tough challenges,” says Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “Economic uncertainties, changes in commodity prices and ongoing weather issues add to the daily stresses of farming and ranching.”
Rural Missourians also sometimes encounter barriers to receiving help in a timely manner because mental health services may not be available in all rural counties.
MU Extension covers the 114 counties in Missouri. “The toolkit, provides resources and tools to promote and support the mental health and well-being of farmers, ranchers and their families,” says Karen Funkenbusch, MU Extension health and safety specialist.
Throughout May, the Missouri Department of Agriculture, along with MU Extension, will join the national Mental Health Awareness campaign to provide resources designed to be useful to farming and rural communities where they live, work and play.
“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 of farmers,” says Chinn. “We want to help our rural communities develop and maintain a support system for our farmers.”
For more information, go to extension.missouri.edu. To learn more about the Department and its programs, visit agriculture.mo.gov.