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Farmers Face Hard Work, Determination, and Depression

Posted by Brian Spence on Mar 4, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Farming, Depression, Mental HealthMental health is talked about more and more these days, whether it comes to children, struggling millennials, or the elderly, but have we stopped to consider those of us that don't fall into the norm? What about those of us that live outside city limits? That work hard every day to provide food, not only for themselves, but for a whole nation? What about them?

What Makes Farmers Different?

When farmers lose a crop, it's not the same as losing a couple hours off your paycheck. They lose a whole seasons worth of work. They lose an income for their family. They lose hope. Farming is a hard job, one that many people are not willing to do. As time has gone on, even farmer's children decide to leave home and seek employment elsewhere.

Farming is a struggling industry, in the sense that ranches and farms have decreased drastically in the last 50 years. Farming is an industry that feeds a whole nation, but is often overlooked because no one cares about the hard work it took for you to be able to buy your vegetables at the store.

So, what is the potential result of all this hard work and determination failing? Suicide. According to HuffPost,"When suicide does occur in farmworker communities, it takes a significant toll on the families of the victims." These communities are very tight-knit keeping to the ideology of "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours," so when suicide does happen, it ripples through the community differently than it would in larger places. These communities are still very much like your "Old Western" films, they're all too tough to talk about emotions. So, how do we deal with this? By letting these communities know that there are people out there willing to understand and help them.

What Can We Do?

This is a question that may be echoing through your head now. There are many financial ways for farmers to get help after a significant loss, but what about for their mental health? Luckily, mental health is talked about more and is more accepted as an illness than it was even 50 years ago. It is not weak to talk about your feelings, or to express the dangerous thoughts that you are having.

If you are interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Mental Health section of our blog.

 

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