$ 500,000 secured to provide mental health resources to local agricultural producers | News


US SENATE – Following a severe drought and dire farming conditions, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing $ 500,000 in funding to the Montana Department of Agriculture to provide assistance to the stress and mental health resources to agricultural producers across the state through the farm and ranch. Stress Support Network (FRSAN).

“Between the historic drought and the hailstorms, it has been a stressful year for producers at Treasure State,” said Senator Jon Tester. “Farming is a tough business and we need to do everything we can to tackle the stigma associated with stress and the mental health issues that come with it. This funding will go a long way towards achieving this goal and will help people get the health resources they need to stay healthy and work through a tough year. “

A mini-grant program will be created to distribute this funding to farm groups and organizations across the state, enabling them to deliver specific mental health programs to their members and communities.

Grants will be capped at $ 10,000 per organization, according to a statement, and can be used for speaker fees, travel and other costs associated with mental health programs. The funding will also be used to increase awareness of the program through a marketing campaign.

This funding was secured through a bipartisan push to include full FRSAN funding in FY 2021 (FY21) Appropriation bill, and recently ran a similar campaign for the Appropriation Bill FY22.

According to Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention, the suicide rate is 45% higher in rural America than in urban areas, and Montana has already one of the highest suicide rates in the country.

Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255.

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