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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 27, 2020 12:35 PM
From: Senator Elder A. Vogel, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Agricultural Mental Health Awareness - Week April 4th through the 11th, 2020
Agricultural Mental Health Awareness Week

In the near future I will be introducing a resolution to name the week of April 4th through the 11th, 2020 as Agricultural Mental Health Awareness Week.

This resolution seeks to raise awareness regarding the correlation between the stresses of the agriculture industry and its impact on mental health. Knowledge of mental health risk factors are essential for helping to reduce the burden of mental health struggles that so many farmers face today. In the United States the scope of mental health issues range from anxiety and depression to suicide. Researchers have identified risk factors as: low commodity prices, mounting debt, drought, overwork, government regulations and isolation. According to the research study titled, Health Key Factors Affecting Farmers’ Mental Health, by the Center for Global Food and Resources countless farmers do not actively search for professional help. Much of this is due to a lack of adequate information, rising health care costs or the belief that a person should deal with his or her mental health difficulties alone. There are several global studies that examine mental health among farming populations, yet there are no methodical guidelines for measuring the state of an individual’s mental well-being. To date, demand for treatment is far outweighed by the supply of necessary resources.

Over the past several years the agricultural industry has faced economic adversity, devastating some, but effecting all who are involved in this community. In light of this I will be spear-heading an initiative to raise awareness of these struggles, as they have widely gone unnoticed. This resolution will be the first step of many in an on-going discussion regarding support for our agricultural community.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this resolution. If you have any questions please contact Matt Parido (7-3076 or mparido@pasen.gov).