Mental Health Hotline for Wyoming Farmer and Rancher Pilots

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News in brief

The AgriStress Helpline is staffed 24/7, similar to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. The difference is that if a farmer or rancher calls, they will get a response from someone who has been trained to help farm workers.

Tara Haskins is mental health manager for AgriSafe, the organization that runs the hotline. She said the stressors for rural agricultural workers are different than they are for the general public.

“Agricultural work is difficult. Many long hours. Lots of sleep loss,” Haskins said. “The work is still there. Often they look out the window of their house and they look at their work all the time. »

AgriSafe is piloting the helpline in Wyoming and several other states, and plans to expand it nationwide.

Other aid programs have been launched in recent years to help rural producers in the region, especially in Colorado and New Mexico. They are reacting to the high suicide rates not only in the Mountain West region, but especially among agricultural workers.

“I think understanding the job of GA, understanding the stressors of GA, allows an individual to connect with someone in a stronger way and also develop a relationship,” Haskins said.

The AgriStress hotline is available in Wyoming at 833-897-2474.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana , KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations throughout the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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