Resources highlighted during Mental Health Month

May 26, 2022

The American Soybean Association (ASA), United Soybean Board (USB) and soy states want to help farmers who may need a hand managing the stress of life on the farm. This May during Mental Health Month, the soy community will continue its proactive communications campaign to combat farm stress by offering #SoyHelp.

Help comes in many forms and from many sources, and the groups have researched and updated a range of options that will be shared both nationally and by state soybean affiliates throughout the month – and that live on the website year-round:

  1. National mental health resources, including crisis centers and suicide hotlines
  2. Agriculture-specific resources for farmers and farm families, both national and by soy state

While the pandemic certainly exacerbated farm stress, farmers are routinely faced with varying levels of anxiety resulting from a host of ongoing and unexpected concerns, from weather occurrences to supply issues, trade troubles to creeping inflation.

“We want these resources to resonate regardless of age, location, race, gender, or the circumstances that have led to needing a hand,” says Brad Doyle, ASA president and soybean farmer from Arkansas. “Whether a long-time farmer feeling overwhelmed by a current situation, a young person just starting out in agriculture facing financial hardships or family members trying to navigate how to assist their loved ones, we want them to have a starting point for seeking help.”

Included in the resources are links to self-assessments, professional services, and local health care facilities; hotlines for urgent needs; warmlines for helpful advice; chat and text lines for instant access; and articles on symptoms, solutions and how to start uncomfortable but healthy discussions.

“The #SoyHelp campaign has two objectives,” says USB Chair Ralph Lott, a soybean farmer from New York. “Certainly, we want to get resources in the hands of those who need help and make sure they are aware that options exist for managing and mending their mental wellness. But, we also hope this ongoing campaign will continue to chip away at the old stigmas that sometimes exist in talking openly about the tolls of stress and seeking help – especially in rural communities.”

Learn more at https://soygrowers. com/soyhelp-national-resources-info.

Article courtesy of the American Soybean Association.