RELEASE: National Young Farmers Coalition calls on Congress to authorize mental health assistance for farmers


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National Young Farmers Coalition calls on Congress to authorize mental health assistance for farmers

Coalition of 36 farm and rural organizations send letter advocating for support in upcoming farm bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 9, 2018)​ – The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) joined 35 farm, rural, and health organizations in a letter calling on Congress to expand mental health and stress assistance resources for farmers by reauthorizing the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) in the upcoming farm bill.

“That such a diverse coalition could form around a single farm bill issue illustrates just how universal and urgent this challenge is,” said Andrew Bahrenburg, NYFC’s national policy director. “Any organization that works with farmers understands the financial stress and emotional fatigue that farmers of all ages can experience. We cannot ignore that as Congress writes the next farm bill.”

The letter follows last month’s introduction of the STRESS Act (H.R. 5259) by a bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives. The bill would establish the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network to coordinate stress assistance programs for farmers and ranchers, including crisis hotlines, educational and outreach services, and the training for farmer advocates. The FRSAN was authorized by Congress in 2008 but never received funding.

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.

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