WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — American farmers and ranchers are hurting: bad weather — on top of the President’s multi-front trade war — has left many farmers struggling to make ends meet.
The National Farmers Union says financial problems on the farm often lead to mental health concerns. That’s why they’ve started a mental health crisis center for farmers to seek help.
And the NFU says calls for help are the highest they’ve ever been.
“After four or five years of this, you can imagine the level of stress is significant,” says Jordan Treakle, with the National Farm Coalition. “And suddenly, despite how much you are able to work — and put all your effort into that production — you’re not able to buy your groceries. You’re having to choose between your medicine and school fees.”
Matt Purdue, with the NFU, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found farmers have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession.
Purdue says financial stress is oftentimes leading to mental stress for farmers.
The need is so great that calls to Farm Aid’s hotline more than doubled last year. And now the NFU has a website dedicated to farmers in crisis.
Purdue says the new Farm Crisis Center is a resource for farmers to apply for grants or connect with a local support groups. They want farmers to know that even in these tough times, they’re not alone.