Farm families are dealing with more stress than ever and a recent study by the American Farm Bureau indicated that 46 percent of farmers say it’s difficult to access a therapist in their rural communities, and 87 percent cited the cost of treatment as an obstacle when procuring that care.
University of Maryland Extension (UME) is partnering with three mental health clinics on the Eastern Shore to help alleviate the issues of accessibility and availability of treatment for mental health concerns.
Supported by a U.S. Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant, six free counseling sessions are available for 35 qualifying participants through Bodhi Counseling in North East, Md., For All Seasons in Easton, Md., and Corsica River Mental Health Services, serving the mid-shore region.
“Farmers deal with ordinary stress like finances and child care, but they also have unpredictable factors like weather events and labor shortages, and these compounding stressors can have long-term impacts,” said Alex Chan, UME mental and behavioral health specialist. “Our partners in therapy have been trained in relevant issues for farmers and are better prepared to meet the unique needs of farm workers and their families.”
Interested participants can request a referral by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 301-405-4153; openings are limited to farm families and other non-industrial land managers.
Additional resources are available for qualifying participants including telehealth options, transportation services, and assistance with technology, amongst other resources.
For more information on the University of Maryland Extension Farm Stress Management program and additional resources, go to https://go.umd.edu/FarmStressManagement.