Department of Agriculture

Supporting Arkansas farmers and ranchers while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of Arkansas, the nation, and across the globe

Farm Stress & Mental Health in Agriculture

Farmers, ranchers, and other professionals in the agriculture community often face unique struggles and stressors. Currently, professionals in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting are ranked as having among the highest suicide rates across the country by the U.S. Center for Disease Control. Below is a list stress management and mental health resources for rural and agricultural professionals and their  families.

Managing Farm Stress Training Offered by University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service

With funding from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers a face-to-face training, Managing Farm Stress and Pursuing Wellness, on an as-needed basis.  

The training, offered by local county extension agents, is approximately one hour and aims to increase awareness of rural stress, explore key stress issues, identify useful coping methods, and access available resources. Find more information on the program and how to request a training here.

Agri-Health Network

The Agri-Health Network is a non-profit established to provide stress assistance to farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture professionals. With funding from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, the Agri-Health Network encourages and provides resources for groups to create a network within the agricultural community to handle stress. Learn more about their organization here.

Among other resources, the Agri-Health Network hosts a weekly podcast, That Farm Life, which covers topics that affect those in the farming community. With new guests each week, That Farm Life aims to help those in agriculture who are dealing with farm stress, family stress, or other mental health issues. Find their weekly episodes here.

Arkansas PBS Podcast: The Growing Season

With funding from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, Arkansas PBS has launched The Growing Season, a monthly agricultural podcast that follows the stories of six Arkansas farmers throughout the year. Host Ben Dickey focuses on the stressors and struggles that come with each season, and what it truly means to be a farmer today.

Find more information and the series trailer here.

Farm Stress & Mental Health: Where Can You Turn?

This state-by-state compilation provided by the National Agricultural Law Center connects individuals and families with state specific mental health resources and available contacts geared specifically towards farm and rural families.

Find the state compilation, as well as compilations for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, here.

Managing Farm Stress and Pursuing Wellness, Agri-Health Network, and Arkansas PBS’s The Growing Season, are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Stress Assistance Network – State Departments of Agriculture Program (FRSAN-SDA), administered by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. Funding may be used to initiate, expand, or sustain programs that provide professional agricultural behavioral health counseling and referral for other forms of assistance. More information about the FRSAN program can be found here.

USDA Resources  

Sustainable Livelihoods and Behavioral Health: Strategies to Address Farm Stress and Suicide: This three-day webinar series hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture featured discussions and presentations focused on farm stress, common challenges, available resources, and more. Find the full, day-by-day overview of the series here. 

Session Recordings:  

Other Helpful Links