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National Young Farmers Coalition supports bipartisan bill to address farmer mental health
Urges Congress to fund stress assistance in the upcoming farm bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 14, 2018) – The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) applauds the introduction of a bipartisan bill (H.R. 5259) that would provide critical resources for farmers experiencing emotional, physical, and financial distress. The STRESS Act, led by U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer (R-MN) and Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), would establish the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) to coordinate stress assistance programs for farmers and ranchers, including crisis hotlines, educational and outreach services, and training for farmer advocates. The program was authorized by Congress in 2008 but has never received funding.
“Mental health impacts all farmers and ranchers, regardless of age,” said Andrew Bahrenburg, National Policy Director for the National Young Farmers Coalition. “We must ensure that the farm safety net includes resources for those facing stress and emotional crisis. The introduction of the STRESS Act sends an important message to farm families: you’re not alone. When these challenges are left unspoken, swept under the rug, or stigmatized, our entire community is impacted. Young farmers everywhere can experience the social isolation, financial stress, and emotional fatigue that comes from pouring everything they have into their farms. We need to do a better job of ensuring they have the resources and support to get through it.”
The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) is a national advocacy network of young farmers fighting for the future of agriculture. Visit NYFC on the web at www.youngfarmers.org, and on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.