The stress and anxiety problems have reached an alarming level in farm families. A recent study by the American Farm Bureau indicated that 46% don’t have access to a therapist in their locality. On the other hand, 87% of the farmers reported that the cost of the treatment is out of their reach.
To alleviate the issues of availability and accessibility of treatment, the University of Maryland Extension has partnered with three mental health clinics.
Moreover, the university has also provided the opportunity of six free counseling sessions for 35 qualifying participants in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant. Free sessions are available in Corsica River Mental Health Services, For All Seasons in Easton Md., and Bodhi Counseling in North East, Md. All these clinics are serving in the mid-shore region.
“Farmers deal with ordinary stress like finances and child care, but they also have unpredictable factors like weather events and labor shortages, and these compounding stressors can have long-term impacts. Our partners in therapy have been trained in relevant issues for farmers and are better prepared to meet the unique needs of farm workers and their families,” said Alex Chan, UME mental and behavioral health specialist.