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Mental/Behavioral Health Issues

Many agricultural workers with disabilities face challenges beyond their physical issues, such as depression, stress, addictions, and other mental/behavioral health concerns. In addition, certain mental/behavioral health issues are considered disabilities in themselves.
Listed here are resources recommended by AgrAbility staff members for addressing such matters.

New Resource

Mental/Behavioral Health Resources for the Drought Aftermath

Resources for Addressing Mental/Behavioral Health Issues of Agrability Clients

Resources from State and Regional Agrability Projects

Delaware/Maryland (R. Jester/C. Custer)
Includes newsletters with short articles on mental/behavioral health topics, and publication on mental health in later life and stress

Colorado State University Extension AgrAbility (R.J. Fetsch)
A collection of numerous Web sites from various sources that address mental/behavioral health issues. Includes links to a variety of publications dealing with coping and stress, emotions, suicide and family interactions.
Includes links to a series of family fact sheets for child/youth, elderly, relationships topics that include information on stress and coping, emotions, and family relationships

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

Link to a Purdue University publication "Farm & Family Connections: Recognizing & Managing Stress. Farm Business Management for the 21st Century"

University of Wisconsin - Extension AgrAbility
Includes a link to a series of five fact sheets, "Recognizing, Responding To, and Relieving Stress," from the University of Wisconsin Extension

Virginia AgrAbility (R. D. Grisso)
Grisso et al. (2008) - SF-36 Survey to assess depression in farmers (higher rate of injury among farmers with depression)

Wyoming AgrAbility (R.R. Weigel)
Includes links to a variety of publications on stress, emotions, crisis, disasters, and coping from the University of Wyoming Extension

Recommended Videos

  • "Responding to Farm Stress" This video helps to recognize signs of stress and ways to help farmers and farm families. It addresses stigma and shows a counselor working with an overly stressed farmer. Mercy Medical Center, Dubuque, Iowa (supported by Iowa Farm Bureau Federation) 1999, 10 minutes
  • "Green Blood Red Tears" is 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

Other National Mental Health Resources

AgriWellness, Inc. (M.R. Rosmann)
Sowing Seeds of Hope Project - Seven Midwestern states providing behavioral health services to uninsured and underinsured farmers and ranchers; includes crisis hotlines (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin)

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.

Mental Health America, Lafayette, Indiana
This is a site from the Lafayette, Indiana, MHA program that includes a large amount of information; and especially useful is separate self screenings for each of the following disorders: depression, alcohol, bipolar, eating, generalized anxiety, post traumatic stress, and a brief screen for adolescent depression.

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."

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (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.

Stress Management
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, the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Lay or Self Screenings
Counseling resource Web site for the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), A Screening Test for Depression:
Counseling resource Web site for the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) for alcohol abuse
Counseling resource Web site for the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST)
Mental Health America's Web site for an online stress screener
This site presents the 12 question General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) that measures current mental health condition and screens for non-psychotic psychiatric disorders.
Type "screening" in the search window for Mental Health America's screenings for various disorders.
Lafayette Indiana Mental Health America contains online screenings for many disorders.

Search Engines for Local Mental Health Agencies
Mental Health America
National Alliance on Mental Illness