Responding to stress in farm communities and throughout Michigan
To help respond to the needs of Michigan farmers and their families, MSU Extension developed the Communicating With Farmers Under Stress workshop.
In spring 2016, the director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture contacted Michigan State University Extension because of an increase in Michigan dairy farmers dying by suicide. To help respond to the needs of Michigan farmers and their families, MSU Extension developed the Communicating With Farmers Under Stress workshop designed for people who work with agricultural producers and farm families to help them learn more about managing stress and communicating with those in need. It highlights existing resources and programs including MSU Extension’s Stress Less With Mindfulness that introduces participants to the experience and practice of mindfulness to reduce stress.
In 2017, MSU Extension social-emotional programs reached over 2,000 Michigan residents. Since October 2016, 936 industry professionals have attended Communicating With Farmers Under Stress workshops.
- 96% of workshop participants learned where to send people for help in the community, and of those, over 60% said their awareness of community resources greatly increased.
- 92% of workshop participants can recognize warning signs of depression, suicide and mental illness.
- 98% of Stress Less With Mindfulness participants know three mindfulness tools to help them manage stress.
For more information, visit the Managing Farm Stress section on the MSU Extension website.