May is Mental Health Awareness month, and the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries (ADAI) would like to highlight a program that puts Alabama farmer’s mental health at the forefront. The ADAI was awarded the Farm and Ranch Assistance Network project grant, established by USDA in October of 2021. Through this grant, ADAI was able to develop the initiative “A Healthy You, A Healthy Farm.” This program partners with the Alabama Department of Mental Health to provide mental health training workshops to better educate those in the agriculture industry about the importance of mental health, the resources available to those in need and strategies to help those in crisis
The suicide rate for people in the farming, forestry and fishing industries is soaring over the national average of deaths per 100,000 workers. Since this issue is often-overlooked, ADAI will continue to make mental health awareness a priority. ADAI will continue to raise awareness of the stress triggers associated in the agriculture industry and make mental health services more accessible to Alabama’s farmers.
“I am excited that the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries can get the conversation around mental health started with our farmers and ag workers,” said Liz Mooneyham, A Healthy You, A Healthy Farm Program Coordinator. “I’m looking forward to continuing this initiative in the coming year.”
ADAI is eager to further grow this initiative and continue the partnership with the Alabama Department of Mental Health.
By ADAI Communications Interns:
Addie Hampton and Drew Whitt