Farmers Wash Up ‘in a Fragile Place’ After Historic Midwest Floods (pewtrusts.org)

 

If you need help, call the 1-800-FARM-AID hotline.

In the weeks after flooding drowned the livelihoods of families who’ve farmed along the Missouri River for generations, rural advocates in the Midwest began gearing up for another crisis.

The devastating floods increased concerns about the mental health and well-being of farmers who already were struggling with yearslong economic uncertainty. Groups in flood-affected states such as Nebraska say they are preparing to provide mental and emotional support to devastated farmers. Meanwhile, the federal government has yet to begin implementing a Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network that was revived in the 2018 farm bill.

Farm families live through hope and optimism from one year to the next, but when things get tight, there’s often a rise in anxiety and depression, experts said.

University of Iowa research that tracked suicides and homicides among farmers and agriculture workers between 1992 and 2010 found that they had a higher rate of suicides than workers in other occupations.

To read more of April Simpson's article, please click here.

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