Jefferson, MO, USA, Aug, 2022 -- The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced the launch of the AgriStress Helpline for Missouri producers. The helpline is a free and confidential service available to Missouri producers and rural families seeking mental health support.
"Having a career in agriculture is not for the faint of heart. Unpredictable weather, market volatility, cost fluctuation, government regulations and long hours can put pressure on our producers and their families," Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said. "We know producers take pride in their ability to handle challenging circumstances, which can lead to a stigma around seeking mental health support. But, it’s okay to need help. Our goal is to ensure free, confidential support is available for Missouri farmers, ranchers and rural community members through the AgriStress Helpline."
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The AgriSafe Network is a nonprofit organization comprised of health professionals and educators who strive to reduce health disparities found among the agricultural community. The AgriSafe mission is to support a growing network of trained agricultural health and safety professionals who ensure access to preventative services for farm families and the agricultural community.
The Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Producers can call or text 833-897-2474 to speak to a health care professional.
The Helpline is made possible through a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant. The Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network grant was awarded to the Missouri Department of Agriculture to help combat farmer stress and suicide. The grant dollars also support the distribution of mental health resources and training, provided by University of Missouri Extension, to help identify and manage agricultural stress.
Anyone involved in the Missouri agriculture industry who wants to talk is encouraged to contact the AgriStress Helpline by calling or texting 833-897-2474.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Monday, August 15, 2022
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