CENTRAL ILLINOIS – This year has been a tough season for farmers. The continuous rain in May delayed planting, causing stress among farmers in Central Illinois.
Because many of the factors affecting agricultural production are out of a farmer’s control, it’s important for farmers to monitor their mental health.
Farmers usually work alone most of the time and rely on themselves. Peoria County Farm Bureau manager Patrick Kirchhofer says they don’t have, for example, co-workers they can turn to in a stressful situation.
“Farmers need to be able to communicate and share their feelings, and a lot of times it’s not in their nature to do that,” Kirchhofer said. “We want to encourage them to get help if they need it.”
“Farmers need to rely on their family, friends and neighbors to seek advice and to seek counsel and go to a professional counselor if they need that. They need to take one day at a time. The sun is going to come up tomorrow and it’s going to be a new day so they need to just try to keep a positive outlook.”
Below are some symptoms of poor mental health:
- Persistent worry and fear
- Avoidance of others
- Feeling sad
- Problems Sleeping
- Low Energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Substance misuse
- Weight/appetite change
- Lack of interest in activities
For more information on farmer health, visit http://www.agrisafe.org