Kansas ag department offers website for stressed farmers
Kansas farmers and ranchers who are stressed over finances or emotional issues have a new place to turn for help.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture, along with several other partners, is now providing a website that offers farmers, ranchers and their families resources and support.
The department announced the website,
, on Tuesday. The site offers several topics, including the Kansas Suicide Prevention Line and the Crisis Text Line.
The site comes during a time when the suicide rate for farmers and ranches is climbing across the nation. Some won't address problems with stress and concerns about mental health.
"There's some stigma attached to mental health services, so they tend to avoid that," says Central Kansas Mental Health Center Clinical Director Cody Sparks. "More of the can-do, 'I can do it myself' attitude."
Sparks says one of the biggest signs of mental illness is showing less care or neglecting responsibilities. For farmers, he says, this would include taking less time to care for crops and animals.
Other signs of mental illness include changes in eating and sleeping habits, lack of self care, lack of social activity and an increase in personal and work-related accidents.
Sparks says the department of agriculture's new website is a step in the right direction.