Remington Rice, PhD, runs the MSU Extension's program on Health and Farm Stress.
Dr. Rice is a Benzie County resident and 5th generation farmer. Knowing that farming can be tough, he and his agency are committed to helping farming professionals and their families through MSU's grant-funded therapy program.
Farming is hard, dangerous work with a higher suicide rate than that of the general public.  Many factors can impact farmers, including bad weather, crop failure, transportation accidents and even opiod use.  But the biggest barrier to help is the stigma attached to mental illness.
The way to help is to become an advocate for farmer mental health.  The first step is to create goals that are:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound
Then engage policy makers and stakeholders.  This means finding and contacting elected officials, creating community conversations and engaging the media at every level.