Where To FInd Help!
NATIONAL RESOURCES FOR FARMERS AND THEIR FAMILIEs
If you are worried about the mental state of a farmer, a member of a farm family, or an agricultural worker, keep the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number at hand. 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
A good place to start is Farm Aid. “We have more than 30 years of experience working with farmers – whether you’re looking to expand your farm or you’re in need of emergency resources. When you contact Farm Aid, our goal is to connect you with helpful services, resources and opportunities specific to your individual needs.” Go to www.farmaid.org and there is a resource guide that covers everything from financial to psychological challenges. Want to talk to someone in person? “If you need to talk to someone directly, we are here to listen. You can call our farmer hotline at 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243). Joe Schroeder and other Farm Aid staff answer the hotline Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time.”
The Farm Crisis Center (www.farmcrisis.nfu.org) offers assistance to farmers including legal aid, risk management, disaster recovery and conflict mediation.
AgrAbility is a nationwide resource with a mission that directly serves the agriculture community. “The vision of AgrAbility is to enhance quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities, so that they, their families, and their communities continue to succeed in rural America. For this target audience, ‘success’ may be defined by many parameters, including: gainful employment in production agriculture or a related occupation; access to appropriate assistive technology needed for work and daily living activities; evidence-based information related to the treatment and rehabilitation of disabling conditions; and targeted support for family caregivers of AgrAbility customers.” Visit www.agrability.org to learn more.
Agriwellness promotes accessible behavioral health services for underserved and at-risk populations affected by rural crises in America. “Agricultural work is very stressful, unpredictable, and dangerous for the entire farm family. Agricultural workers, including farmers, ranchers, migrant/seasonal workers, fishers, foresters, their families and communities dependent upon agriculture, often find it difficult to obtain the behavioral health care they need as a result of these perils. Behavioral health treatments such as addictions treatment, mental health therapy, and marital and family counseling are often scarce in rural areas. To learn more, visit www.agriwellness.org or call 732-235-6100.
Working age men account for the largest number of suicide deaths in the United States. These men are the least likely to seek, or receive, mental health care. They don’t talk about it with their friends and they don’t share it with loved ones. They’re the victims of problematic thinking that says mental health care is for weaklings.
Man Therapy® gives men the resources they desperately need to face the perils life puts in front of them, and it does it in a way that will appeal to men. Dr. Rich Mahogany, the website host, is sometimes indelicate, always funny, an affable, mustachioed, middle-aged man whose personality might be described as Dr. Phil meets Archie Bunker.
The website includes videos covering manly ways to address everything from addictions to anxiety to suicide. There are live chat and phone crisis lines where men listen to men.
To learn more about Man Therapy®, visit www.mantherapy.org.
HELP FOR FARM FAMILIES ON THE EASTERN SHORE
There is no shame in asking for help when it is needed. Anyone on the other end of any of these lines, or at any of these websites, will not think that a farmer, a member of a farm family, or someone dependent on the farming community is “weak,” or “crazy,” when they pick up the phone. But pick up the phone, or visit a website, one must. The start to better mental health, happiness and prosperity often begins by asking for help.
Life Crisis Center in Salisbury provides a 24 hour crisis hotline. They also answer calls for the National Suicide Lifeline and 2-1-1 Maryland, which is information & referral for human and health services. Services: Counseling for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, suicide prevention, support groups, emergency safe home, shelter and medical care referral, and assistance. 24 Hour Hotline: 410-749-4357 Phone: 410-749-0632 / 410-749-0771 Fax: 410-548-9496 Website: www.lifecrisiscenter.org
For a comprehensive guide to mental health services on the lower Eastern Shore, visit: http://www.jessespaddle.org/Docs/Resource%20Guide%202016.pdf.
The Jesse Klump Resource Guide to Mental Health Providers includes information on health departments, private counseling services, hospitals, and complementary therapies like yoga and life coaching. The 5th edition of the Resource Guide has an expanded section dealing specifically with mental health care options for farmers.For a paper copy, call 443-982-2716 and ask for one to be mailed to you.
The combined resource guide for the health departments in Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset Counties is available at https://www.wicomicohealth.org/file/2/61/Resource%20Guide%202016%20-%20FINAL.pdf.
The University of Maryland has a comprehensive program to “help Maryland farmers improve their business management skills, to improve management productivity, increase profitability, and fulfill their long-term goals.” https://www.arec.umd.edu/extension/ume-programs/farm-and-financial-management
Tri-Community Mediation is a service that helps solve conflicts without the necessity of a court appearance and costly legal fees. For farmers, this might mean a less stressful and more economical way to address problems like commercial transaction disputes, personal injury, labor or community relations, employment or any other matters which do not involve complex procedural or evidentiary issues. Mediators are non-judgmental and trained in patience, persistence and common sense.
231 West Main Street in Salisbury - Phone (410) 548-7174 - www.tricommunitymediation.org
A Farm Stress Management website was launched in 2018 by the University of Maryland Extension Service. The website has information to help farmers and farm families deal with hard economic times and to teach stress management techniques: https://extension.umd.edu/FarmStressManagement