TOPEKA (KSNT) – Government officials are reminding farmers to prioritize their mental health as harvest season comes to a close.
Monday morning, Kansas Senator Roger Marshall met with agricultural leaders across the state to share resources to keep Kansas farmers and ranchers safe. September is national suicide awareness month, and Marshall says the suicide rate for farmers and ranchers is 3.5 times higher than the average person.
Some reasons may revolve around the drought and inflation. But Marshall says he wants to keep mental health in the forefront of Kansan’s minds. He says general farm safety is taught at a young age, but not many are taught about mental health and well-being.
“We were taught don’t stand behind a horse, don’t get behind a tractor that’s moving, but no one talked about the challenges with mental health,” Marshall said. “So, that’s why this is so real for us. We want to again just get the word out that again, there’s help for us.”
“The ag industry, we take care of each other, and so giving our producers and giving farmers tools to help recognize when they need help or when maybe somebody, one of their friends of family need help too,” CEO of the Kansas Soybean Association Kaleb Little said.
Marshall also stressed while some farmers may be the one’s struggling with mental health, the burden trickles down to the families. For anyone struggling with mental health, you can reach out to your local Kansas State extension office for resources. You can call the suicide hotline, by dialing 988.