The suicide rate among agriculturalists is 3.5 times higher than the general population. A number of external factors related to the farming and veterinary work put individuals in agricultural populations at risk for poor mental health outcomes, including economic variables (e.g. tariffs, market prices), environmental factors affecting yield (e.g. drought, pests), and exposure to difficult or traumatic life events (e.g., mistreatment of animals, loss of crop). Rural values including self-reliance, work orientation, and individualism combined with logistical and systemic barriers to competent behavioral health care further increase risk. Project GROW (Generating Resilience in Our Workforce) is a multifaceted full semester program designed to train agriculture students in how to be mental health advocates in order to address the mental health and suicide crisis among farmers in the state of Texas.
Blankenship, Abby E.; Nason, Erica E.; Hayes, Olivia; and Bliss, Sebastian
"Mental Health Advocacy: Building an Interdisciplinary Program for Agriculture Professionals,"
Contemporary Rural Social Work Journal: Vol. 12:
1, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.murraystate.edu/crsw/vol12/iss1/7