We all feel a bit tired sometimes, but according to mental health experts, our industry can often normalize the signs of mental health struggles as “just part of the job”, which can prevent people from getting the help they need.
Guests Megz Reynolds, executive director for the Do More Agriculture Foundation, and Jessica Cabrera, managing director at American Farm Bureau Federation, joined Seed World Group to discuss the importance of mental health awareness in the agricultural community.
“We may not all deal with a mental illness at some point in our lives, but we all are going to have challenges with our mental health at some point,” says Megz.
“I think we, especially in agriculture, have normalized some indicators. Do you have a short fuse? Are you always tired? Are you eating more or eating less? Are you consuming alcohol more than you should be? These are all things that we’ve normalized in the industry as personality traits, but they are often all symptoms of an underlying mental health or mental illness that we need to be dealing with or seeking professional help for.”
Do More Ag and Farm Bureau both offer extensive resources, such as Farm Bureau’s national resource directory, which includes a list of resources for every state and Puerto Rico.
“Sometimes people email me from a small community in a state far from here asking, ‘Who can I turn to?’ To have that directory, to be able to say, ‘Well tell me what state you’re from, and let’s find some of the resources that are available near you’ is very, very helpful,” explains Jessica.