As a farmer, taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your crops and livestock. Farming can be a stressful and demanding profession, with long hours, uncertain weather conditions, financial pressures, and heavy physical labor. In May, we observe Mental Health Awareness Month to draw attention to the way these demands can affect us and how we can support good mental health.
Here are some ways you can observe Mental Health Awareness Month:
1. Connect with others: spending time with friends and family. Even if it’s just a short phone conversation or a passing “hey, how are you?” spending time with others helps us feel a sense of belonging and connection.
2. Manage stress: Farming can be stressful, and it’s essential to have strategies to manage stress. Practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques can help you manage stress and improve your overall well-being. Are you unfamiliar with mindfulness, or not sure if it’s for you? Check out this article written especially for farmers and people working in agriculture!
3. Take care of yourself: Self-care is crucial for maintaining good mental health. Taking care of your physical health, such as eating well and getting enough sleep, can also help improve your mental health.
4. Seek help: If you are experiencing mental health issues, seek help from a mental health professional. If you are in a crisis, dial 911 or 988. If you feel like your mental health is declining but you’re not in crisis, call 988, text 741741, or call the Ohio Careline at 1-800-720-9616. You will be connected with a trained professional who will listen to your concerns and help you find helpful resources. If you feel that talk therapy is an option for you, consider visiting with a Farm Stress Certified counselor or call the Ohio Mental Health Insurance Assistance Office for help finding a provider in your area.
Observing Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity for farmers to prioritize their mental health and well-being. By connecting with others, managing stress, prioritizing self-care, and seeking help when needed, farmers can improve their overall mental health and well-being. Remember, taking care of your mental health is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength and resilience.