In observance of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, the US Department of Agriculture is hosting a free, virtual event today, tomorrow and Thursday (May 17-19, 2022) to highlight this important, but often overlooked issue.

The “Sustainable Livelihoods and Behavioral Health: Strategies and Partnerships to address Farm Stress and Suicide” event brings together leaders from USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services, farmers and ranchers, technical assistance providers, as well as individuals and other strategic partners, to focus on current challenges with rural mental health. The event will focus on the federal government’s response across various agencies, as well as best practices and strategies to address stress and mental health issues on the farm and ranch.

The virtual event takes place each day from 1–5pm EDT. Register and find more information at https://www.usda.gov/partnerships/other or contact partnerships@usda.gov.

Key takeaways include:

  • Information on the federal agency response to farm stress, including initiatives like the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) and the 988 national mental health crisis hotline.

  • Presentations from the USDA Rural Health Liaison team and Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) agencies to raise awareness of an issue that often has been stigmatized.

  • Interactive regional breakout sessions bringing together Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network partners, Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grantees, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) regional staff.

  • Capacity building trainings and workshops for USDA staff, technical assistance providers, and farmer-serving organizations, as well as clinicians and behavioral health providers.



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