Navigating Mental Health & Overall Well-Being on the Farm

Navigating Mental Health & Overall Well-Being on the Farm

May 31, 2024


Kristina Buckley

As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, we know the busiest season for most farms has only just begun. Farmers, we hope that despite all that must be done come rain or shine, you are able to carve out moments in your routine to take care of your well-being.

Below are a few tangible farmer resources for immediate and longer term support with mental health and stress management:

Counseling & Crisis Support

FarmAid Crisis Support – Crisis support hotline for farmers

available Monday-Friday, 9 am – 10 pm, ET. Available in English and Español

Call 1.800.FARM.AID or 1.800.327.6243

Maine Statewide Crisis and Suicide Prevention Hotline – Crisis support available 24/7

Call 1.888.568.1112  

Crisis Text Line – Crisis support via text, WhatsApp, or online chat available in English and Español 24/7

Text HOME to 741741

Maine Intentional Warm Line – Peer-to-peer phone support for non-crisis situations available in English 24/7 from anywhere in Maine

Call 1.866.771.9276 to have a conversation with a trained peer specialist who has life experience with mental health recovery

Maine Mobile Health – Mental health counseling and referral for seasonal farm workers. Services available in English, Spanish or Haitian Creole. You have to be registered with the Maine Mobile Health network.

Call 1.888.351.9634 or email

Other Resources

Cultivemos – a network in the Northeast working to cultivate the well-being of the agricultural community through workshops, health care resources and assistance programs. Cultivemos (formerly known as the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Northeast) is made up of approximately 160 individuals from over 90 organizations providing a range of services from mental health advocate and stress wellness to financial literacy and farmland management.

  • Explore their website here, where you can find the Farmer Resource Network and other supports on the "Providers" tab.

UMaine Cooperative Extension Farm Coaching – free, individualized coaching for farmers with 5+ years' farming experience to support the sustainability of your farm, including your wellbeing.

  • Request coaching services here
  • Explore bite-sized wellness tips and resources written by farm coaches here
  • Find resources for balancing farm and family here

Rural Resilience: Farm Stress Training – an online, self-paced course for farmers and ranchers across the country to recognize crisis symptoms, communicate during stressful times, and reduce mental health stigma.

  • Access this free course on Michigan State University's website here
  • MSU Extension also offers a series of guides to support farmers coping with farm-related stressors here

Maine DACF resource list – find a compiled list of mental health resources here

Farmers and farmworkers impacted by PFAS can access wellness grants through the PFAS Emergency Relief Fund co-administered by MFT and MOFGA - find details in the PFAS Farmer Wellness Fund section here.

Recommended listening

In The Young Farmers Podcast below, farmer Ari de Leña and show host Elizabeth Bragg discuss how in such a physically demanding career like farming, it can be hard to get grounded in your feelings and experiences and process them as they arise. But as they point out, farmers are humans first after all, bringing their own experiences, dreams, and struggles to the work, relying heavily on their bodies and minds to be efficient as they juggle the many hats needed to do their jobs and provide for their communities.

  • Part 1: Ariana de Leña on Farmer Stress and Anxiety - listen here
  • Part 2: Ariana de Leña on Tools for Dealing with Farmer Stress and Anxiety - listen here

Looking for more stories on ways other folks in agriculture are navigating these complex issues and the supports that are available? Pop on those headphones while you’re going about your farm chores or taking a much-needed break from the fields and check out the links below.

  • Farm Stress Real Talk, a podcast from PennState Extension - find it here
  • Talking Total Farmer Health, a podcast from the AgriSafe Network - find it here
  • Agriculture Mediation and Farm Mental Health from UMaine Cooperative Extension's Maine Farmcast - listen to the episode here
  • Why there's a need to talk about farmers' mental health from The Packer's Tip of the Iceberg Podcast - watch/listen to the episode here

Interested in reading more on the intersection of farming and healthcare? Check out this article that we shared earlier this week from our 2023 maine farms journal to hear from farmers, rural health researchers, and providers about the stressors farmers face and why access to healthcare can be especially challenging for the farming community.

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