Updated: Nov 17
October 19, 2023 - Wisconsin Dells, WI - At the 19th Annual Mental Health & Substance Use Recovery Conference, Farmer Angel Network co-founder Dorothy Harms, along with Karen Endres from DATCP's Wisconsin Farm Center and Megan Wolf, SAC, LPC, therapist at Southwest Counseling, shed light on the unique mental health challenges faced by Wisconsin farmers and their families.
Farmers, deeply dedicated to their land, animals, and the generational legacy of producing safe, healthy food, find themselves grappling with stress, injuries, exhaustion, and the complexities of modern agriculture. This struggle often leads to higher rates of suicide, substance use, depression, and anxiety, issues that are often overlooked.
The conference provided a platform for attendees, including behavioral health professionals, individuals in recovery, family members, clinicians in the criminal and juvenile justice system, adolescent treatment professionals, and educators, to gain insights from speakers with both professional and lived experiences with our local farming community.
Focus areas included:
Understanding Farm Culture
Building Local Resources
The session highlighted the urgent need for innovative resources to support Wisconsin farmers and their families in coping with mental health issues. By fostering a better understanding of the challenges faced by those in agriculture, communities can work together to create a network of support and break the silence surrounding mental health issues in farming.