New national survey shows encouraging signs of reducing stigma surrounding farmer mental health

Farmers and rural dwellers are more comfortable talking about stress and mental health issues with others, and the stigma of seeking help or treatment has decreased in rural and farming communities. but remains a factor, according to one new research poll of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

AFBF surveyed rural adults and farmer / farm workers to measure changes and trends in stigma, personal experiences with mental health, awareness of mental health resource information and the comfort of talking about mental health with others. The results of the survey were compared to previous AFBF surveys conducted in 2019 and 2020 which focused on the mental health of farmers and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of farmers, respectively.

“Farm Bureau has encouraged conversations to help reduce the stigma surrounding stress and the mental health of farmers through our Farm State of Mind campaign,” said Zippy Duvall, AFBF President. “This poll shows we are making a difference, but we all still have work to do. It is up to each of us to continue to look after our family, friends and neighbors and let them know that they are not alone when they feel the increasing stress that comes with the daily activities of farming and farming. breeding.

Morning Consult conducted the survey on behalf of the AFBF in December 2021 with a national sample of 2,000 rural adults. The main findings include:

  • The stigma associated with seeking help or treatment for mental health has diminished but remains a factor, particularly in agriculture. Over the past year, there has been a decrease in the number of rural adults reporting that their friends / acquaintances (-4%) and members of their local community (-9%) stigmatized asking for help. help or treatment for mental health. But a majority of rural adults (59%) say there is at least some stigma around stress and mental health in the farming community, including 63% of farmers / farm workers.
  • Farmers / farm workers are more comfortable talking about stress and mental health with friends, family and doctors than they were in 2019. Four in five rural adults (83%) and 92% of farmers / farm workers say they would be comfortable talking about solutions with a friend or family member facing stress or a mental health issue, and the percentage of farmers / farm workers who say they would be comfortable talking to friends and family has increased by 22% since April 2019.
  • A majority of rural adults (52%) and farmer / farm workers (61%) experience more stress and mental health issues than a year ago, and seek care due to stress increased. Young rural adults are more likely than older rural adults to say they experience more stress and mental health problems than a year ago, and they are more likely than older rural adults to say that they are experiencing more mental health problems. ‘they personally sought treatment from a mental health professional.

A slide set with additional details of the full survey results is available here.

The AFBF will present two events focused on farmer mental health at the 103rd AFBF Convention in Atlanta, Georgia: a panel discussion with representatives from the Farm Bureau on Sunday, January 9 at 10:45 a.m. EST, and a workshop QPR Mental Health Training Course hosted by AgriSafe that equips farmers and farm families with the skills to recognize and respond to mental health crises using the Ask, Persuade and Refer approach, Monday January 10 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

If you or someone you know is in emotional pain or has concerns about their mental health, visit the Farm State of Mind website at farmstateofmind.org for information on the case helplines. crisis, treatment locators, tips to help someone with emotional pain, how to start a conversation. and resources to manage stress, anxiety or depression.

Contact:

Mike tomko
Director, Communications
(202) 406-3642
[email protected]

Ray atkinson
Director, Communications
(202) 406-3717
[email protected]

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