A mental health expert is urging farmers to get help dealing with their stress if they feel helpless and hopeless. Roberta Schweitzer says farming is already stressful – but the months-long drought could leave many producers vulnerable to mental and behavioral health problems.

According to Schweitzer – the emotional strain of watching crops wither and livestock feed prices soar could lead to depression, substance abuse or worse. But Schweitzer says farmers often aren't aware when stress is harming their mental condition – or they ignore the signs and expect it to pass. In those situations – she says family members and friends should step in to help the farmer get the help needed.

Schweitzer says stress management is a good way to stop negative emotions from becoming serious mental health problems. She recommends good health habits – including proper nutrition, exercise and adequate rest; quality time with family and friends; and identifying personal stress triggers and activities that can provide relief.

Schweitzer recently teamed with the Purdue University-based Indiana AgrAbility Project to present a webinar on drought-related mental health issues. That webinar is available for online viewing at www dot AgrAbility dot org slash online dash training slash archived slash (www.AgrAbility.org/Online-Training/archived/).

Source: NAFB

Posted by Northern Ag Network

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