Community Health

Resources for producers

  • Rural Response to Farmer Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Introduction – Rural Health Information Hub: A comprehensive guide to the mental health challenges facing farmers and ranchers, with information on the root causes of stress, farmer demographics, mental health needs, and barriers to accessing care. Find tools and examples for developing programs to help address farmer mental health. 
  • Rural Resilience: An online course provides participants the skills to understand the sources of stress, learn the warning signs of stress and suicide, identify effective communication strategies, reduce stigma related to mental health concerns and connect farmers and ranchers with appropriate mental health and other resources. 
  • Coping with Rural Stress: As part of its Rural Stress Task force, UMN Extension created this “Coping with rural stress” website with resources to help rural residents cope with stress. The website features an assortment of original and non-original mental health/stress resources, publications, recorded video conferences, helplines, etc. This is similar in content to NDSU Extension’s program, but more generally targeted to rural populations.  
  • Farm Aid: A non-profit farmer advocacy program that includes a crisis hotline, resource hub for locating crisis assistance, and fact sheets on mental illness and suicide in farmers.
  • Farm and Ranch Stress: North Dakota State University Extension has developed a number of online resources to help farmers and ranchers cope with the stress. Their Farm and Ranch Stress website features an assortment of original and non-original mental health/stress resources there are publications, recorded video conferences, helplines, etc. Similar in content to MSU’s program, but not as user-friendly, streamlined, or high-quality.
  • TransFARMation: A podcast and radio series about coping with stress from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Red River Farm Network. The twice-monthly podcast features farmers talking through how they navigated tough times.
  • ISU Extension COVID-19 Resources: A webpage by Iowa State University Extension Dairy Team with tips and resources for taking care of mental health, specifically targeting dairy farmers and currently featuring resources for dealing with COVID-19.
  • Agricultural Safety & Health Information Clearinghouse: Farm Stress & Decision Making During Challenging Times: A webpage by Extension professor John Shutsuke explaining farming stress with tips and resources for taking care of mental health.
  • Tips & Resources for Taking Care of Your Mental Health: A webpage by Acceleron (owned by Bayer, formerly Monsanto) created for farmers with tips and resources on taking care of mental health.
  • Disaster Preparedness & Resiliency: A webpage by Southeastern Coastal Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (SCCAHS) on disaster preparedness and stress management and resiliency. This includes factsheets, handouts, and resource recommendations for managing stress. 
  • Univ of FL/IFAS Extension Disaster Education and Resource Hub, Health & Well-being Programs: The UF/IFAS Extension Disaster Handbook prominently includes a section on mental health in English and Spanish, including easy-to-read coping strategies and in-depth research articles on trauma, factsheets on health and wellbeing, face-to-face couples’ education classes.
  • Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium: Peer Listening Online Course: A training for aquaculture workers on peer listening to help those in crisis. 
  • Florida Agricultural Mediation Program (FAMP): The Agricultural Mediation Program helps resolve disputes between producers and their lenders, creditors, or the USDA agencies with which they work.

Resources for farmworkers:

  • Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organizations, Inc. (COFFO): Operating in Collier and Miami Dade counties is the Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organization. The non-profit agency assists low-income families, the poor, farmworkers, and immigrants. They offer emergency assistance ad referrals to programs to get people on track for stability. Although the focus is not mental health, they can arrange mental health or substance abuse counseling and help subsidize prescription medications.
  • Farmworker Coordinating Council of Palm Beach County, Inc.: The Farmworker Coordinating Council is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive social and human services to Palm Beach County’s farmworkers and their families. Although the focus is not mental health, they offer counseling and sponsor support groups.
  • Florida Association of Community Health Centers: Health Centers are community-based and patient-directed organizations that serve people with limited access to health care. These include low-income patients, the uninsured, those with limited English proficiency, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and those living in public housing. Community Health Centers offer behavioral and mental health services.
  • Migrant Health Program: Most of the migrant health centers are private non-profits operated by community organizations. They offer free and reduced healthcare to migrant farmworkers.

Resources for the general public: 

  • Mental Health First Aid: MHFA is an adult education program designed to increase mental health literacy. It includes training modifications to meet the needs of rural communities. These programs are taught by a certified MHFA instructor, usually a staff member from local mental health authorities or from organizations focused on behavioral health, mental health, or addictions. The training is taught in various formats – including online – but most commonly is given through a single 8-hour session or over 2 days in 4-hour sessions.
  • QPR Gatekeeper Training: QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer. It’s an emergency mental health gatekeeper training intervention for lay and professional gatekeepers (someone in a position to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide). QPR teaches these gatekeepers to recognize and respond positively to someone exhibiting suicide warning signs and behaviors. 
  • Crisis Text Line: Crisis Text Line is a global not-for-profit organization providing free mental health texting service through confidential crisis intervention via SMS message. 
  • Veterans Crisis Line: A free, confidential counseling and resource service available to veterans and those concerned for veterans. 
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness: The National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) is a mental illness advocacy group offering classes and training programs for people living with mental illnesses, their families, community members, and professionals. 
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 160 crisis centers that provides a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For getting help, the website has a treatment locator for facilities, information and resources on mental illness, preventing suicide, substance use, etc., and a national helpline for treatment referral and information.
  • Florida Department of Health: Provides information and referrals for stress management, substance abuse, and suicide prevention, emergency preparedness, and response (includes a subsection on behavioral health) in Florida.
  • Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention: Provides suicide prevention training to Police, EMS, Teachers, Students, Clubs, Community Organizations, etc., local support groups, and runs prevention programs in local schools.
  • Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition: A non-profit organization composed of loss survivors, crisis center staff, researchers, and concerned citizens. The website provides information and referrals to the public on suicide prevention, crisis services, support groups, etc.

Extension Agents and Others Who Can Help

The network of universities and cooperative extension services working on education and research in agriculture, fishing, and forestry in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, has offices and extension agents focused on occupational safety. Below are Extension agents and specialists and other professionals who conduct training on this topic or who can provide more information.

Heidi RadunovichRural mental health/ Opioid abuse
Associate Professor/ Licensed Psychologist
UF Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences