Farmers: Times are tough, but you are not alone!

Erin Robinstine
Farmers Advance

Right now, there is a lot of tension and uncertainty in the agricultural community. Whether it's low prices, floods, attacks from activist groups, or the inability to plant due to excess rain, every facet of the industry is feeling it right now. The following is a compilation of resources that we hope you'll find helpful. If you're feeling overwhelmed or like you can't go on, please reach out for help! Help is out there, and you are not alone!

Diagnosis-Specific Assistance

• Anxiety and Depression - 

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) supports individuals experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression by providing education, training, and up-to-date research. The ADAA website includes additional information including diagnosis specific facts, treatments, and support groups.

• Depression and Bipolar Disorder - 

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is a peer-directed national organization which provides resources and support to individuals with mood disorders. The site provides links to educational materials, treatment options, peer support, and resources for helping others.

Disaster Assistance

• Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG) -

The Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG) offers a number of guides and updates about federal risk management and disaster programs that can help protect your farm business against natural disasters. A good place to start is their Farmers’ Guide to Disaster Assistance, written by FLAG attorneys to explain FEMA assistance, federal crop insurance, USDA’s Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program and Emergency Loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

• Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) -

The Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) has a fantastic set of resources to help you navigate Disaster Programs, including information covering disaster preparedness, disaster recovery and their Farm Advocacy program.

• University of California - Davis -

Farmers who grow specialty crops often face a unique set of hurdles in securing crop insurance and risk management tools. Check out University of California-Davis’s Risk Management Resources for Specialty Crop Producers.

• Farm Crisis Center -

• Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) -

RAFI advocates for disaster and risk management policies that support family farmers in increasing the sustainability of their farms. Better risk management can save farms and help changing rural economies thrive.

Getting Involved

• Mental Health First Aid -

• Generation Rx -

Medication management (prescription, opioids, etc.)

• Farm Advocate Link -

The Farm Advocate Link is a network of professional farm advocates who address the need for fair access to credit, risk management and disaster assistance programs for farmers. For additional information or to get involved with the Farm Advocate Link, contact Farm Aid at

Legal Help

• Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG) -

The Farmers’ Legal Action Group is dedicated to helping farmers understand their rights and has a long list of legal resources for farmers and ranchers facing anything from financial or natural disasters to land succession to tough situations with contracts.

• Drake Agricultural Law Center -

The Drake Agricultural Law Center offers publications and guides covering a range of legal issues affecting farmers. Most of the resources are academic, but they can offer important insights to you or your lawyer regarding legal needs for your farm.

Lay or Self Screenings

• CES-D - 

Counseling resource website for the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), a screening test for depression.

• MAST - mast/index.html 

Counseling resource website for the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) for alcohol abuse.

• DAST - abuse/index.html 

Counseling resource website for the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST).

• Mental Health America - 

Mental Health America's website for an online stress screening. Type "screening" in the search window for Mental Health America's screenings for various disorders.

Mental/Behavioral Health Issues

• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

• Crisis Text Line: Text "CONNECT" to 741741

• Indiana AgrAbility Project:

Purdue University's Breaking New Ground Resource Center. A link to the Rural Caregivers Web site that contains links to a variety of materials and resources for Caregiver Workshops.

• Farm Aid -

Farm Aid works with organizations around the country staffed with farm advocates, counselors and hotline operators that can help you in your time of greatest need. If you need someone to talk to, give us a call at 1-800-FARM-AID and we’ll do our best to direct you to someone who can help.

Mental/Behavioral Health Videos

• The Surprising Reality of Depression and Suicide Among Farmers - reality-of-depression-and-suicide-in-the-farming- community_us_5b5a424ee4b0b15aba96eab7

Discussion of depression and suicide in farming community with special focus on the suicide of a Minnesota farmer and its affects on others. 

• Green Blood Red Tears - 

A documentary about a Kentucky farmer who committed suicide. Ag-Culture Media, Middletown, Kentucky. 

• Fierce Goodbye: Living in the Shadow of Suicide - 

Mennonite Media.  

• Shadow Voices: Finding Hope in Mental Illness -

Mennonite Media. 

Mental/Behavioral Health Webinars

• "Mental Health First Aid" v=FYvSc3GCbpQ&t=3s. National AgrAbility Project

• "Stress Management on the Farm" MidAtlantic Women in Agriculture.

• "Rural Behavioral Health Learning Collaborative - Understanding the Opioid Crisis & Community Strategies" The TA Network and SAMHSA.

National Mental Health Organizations and Resources

• Ag Behavioral Health - 

The website of Michael Rosmann, rural psychologist, it contains resources related to behavioral health for farmers and ranchers. 

• Val Farmer, PhD -

Contains Val Farmer's many writings on rural mental health and family relationships. 

• National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) -

NAMI is a strong grassroots organization that conducts tuition free courses for families of individuals with mental illness and organizes support groups for those individuals. Their Web site contains information on disorders, symptoms, treatment, medications and advocacy. 

• Mental Health America (MHA) -

MHA's goal is to educate the public about mental health and mental illness. It maintains the Suicide and Crisis Hotline, 800-273-8255, and provides information on disorders, symptoms, treatment, medications, clinical trials, referrals, appealing denials, payment help, advocacy, and community screenings. The site contains online screenings for various disorders that can be used to determine symptoms and direct the person to professional treatment if required--just type screening in the search window.

• National Council for Behavioral Health -

The National Council for Behavioral Health is a not-for-profit organization with serves as a voice for health care organizations across America who provide mental health and addiction treatments and services. The organization also serves as the driving force behind the Mental Health First Aid movement and provides a variety of mental health related resources.

• National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) - 

NIMH is dedicated to research, and its site contains clinical trials, research publications, and general information on disorders, medications, symptoms and treatment. A timely publication available here is, "Guide: Getting through Tough Economic Times."

• The Rural Health Information Hub -

Links to additional rural health organizations in which support mental health concerns including demographic specific resources.

• AgriSafe Network -

The AgriSafe Network, a non-profit national membership organization, represents health professionals and educators who strive to reduce health disparities found among the agricultural community. We believe agricultural injuries, diseases, and fatalities can be prevented through the effective delivery of agricultural occupational health services.

Search Engines to Locate Local Mental Health Agencies

• Mental Health America - 

• National Alliance on Mental Illness - 


Stress Management

• Iowa State University Extension - 

A Link to an Iowa State University Extension Agency Publication: "Manage Stress to Increase Farm Safety - Safe Farm: Promoting Agricultural Health and Safety". Includes a Farm Safety and Stress Checklist

• Stress Management for Farmers -

Link to "Stress Management for Farmers" series, Michigan State University Extension Service and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

• North Dakota State University -

Resources for managing farm stress, anger, and depression with an additional free online course to support farmers and their families in recognizing chronic stress and how to manage related symptoms. North Dakota State University, Agriculture and University Extension provides numerous publications on farm/ranch stress management, including a mental health training video entitled “Elderly Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Farm Stress.”

• Iowa State University Extension - t/4617

An Iowa State University Extension and Outreach publication to assist in recognizing stress, symptoms, and methods for managing.

Substance/Opioid Abuse

• SAMHSA -  

SAMHSA is a federal agency that provides grants and national leadership and determines effective treatment and prevention. Its statistics and publications are delivered for the public in a not-too-technical format.

• FarmTownstrong - 

FarmTownStrong is a partnership between the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union to combat the opioid epidemic by providing links to hotlines, getting treatment, prevention, and proper disposal of drugs in an effort to provide resources and support to farm and ranch families.

• Purdue Extension - 

Purdue Extension's effort to address the opioid crisis through various publications and programing including a webinar series, Mental Health First Aid courses, and the Strengthening Families Program: For Parent and Youth 10-14.

• U.S. Department of Agriculture - 

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s effort on opioid misuse in rural America which provides national and state resources, funding, and project links.

Suicide Prevention

• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255),

• American Association of Suicidology -

• Mental Health for Veterans - 

Links to various mental health resources for service members, veterans, and their families.