Farm Mental Health – Caitlin Arnold Stefano

Rural residents can have high rates of depression, substance abuse and completed suicide, and farmers face additional challenges to maintaining their mental health according to Farm Aid. Mental health professionals point to the nature of farming as one likely cause — it is a business largely influenced by factors that are beyond farmers’ control, including weather, disease, pests, prices and interest rates, and which can come and go without warning. They can be isolated, geographically and socially, since they often work alone. They are self-reliant, independent and can be unlikely to ask for help. For over 30 years Farm Aid has offered a place to call for help and suggestions through the Farm Aid Hotline. Now as we learn in a Farm To Table Talk conversation with Farm Aid’s Hotline Program Manager Caitlin Arnold Stephano they are also able to offer hotlne services in Spanish. When starting or surviving on the farm becomes an existential threat, all farmers can call the hotline at 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243).