Aquaculture North America

Farm Aid encourages farmers to use mental health initiative

April 23, 2024
By Aquaculture North America staff

(Photo: Farm Aid)

Farm Aid, a mental health initiative that aims to help farmers with stress, financial issues, and legal and business-related questions, is asking farmers to call the Farmer Hotline at 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243).

Its hotline operators are familiar with agriculture and resources for farmers nationwide and work with callers to find the best resources for their situation. 

Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centred agricultural system in America. Its board members include artists like, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Margo Price, who host annual festivals to raise money to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food.

According to Farm Aid, the suicide rate has been higher for farmers than for the general population for decades. A 2017 story in The Guardian showed a harsh reality about America’s farmers. They cited the CDC study, that people working in agriculture take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation. 


Farm Aid said that today, mental health support services are less available and accessible in rural areas than they were in the 1980s because fewer people are attending church, there are fewer community-building events in which people can interact/establish relationships in rural areas and a decrease in overall population among rural areas.

It said in a press release that because of their work, farmers often lack health insurance coverage or have minimal coverage that covers only catastrophic injuries rather than comprehensive care. And if they have insurance, they may have to pay out of pocket for behavioural health services.

To help with this, Farm Aid said farmers can call the hotline at 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243) and can submit an online request for assistance form. It aims to respond to all callers/online requests within 24-48 hours. The hotline hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.

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