Rural Mental Health & Farm Stress




Focus Area for the Mountain Plains MHTTC


The rural mental health vision for the Mountain Plains MHTTC is to support increased access to providers of mental health services for the more than 60 million Americans living in rural communities. To achieve this, the Center develops and promotes training and technical assistance which supports the rural mental health workforce and reduces barriers to mental health treatment for rural residents.

The Center also recognizes that the agricultural community encounters unique challenges related to the accessibility, availability, and acceptability of mental health services. Specific training and resources have been developed to address mental health and suicide among agricultural workers and their families. Unless otherwise specified, “farm” and “farmer” refer to ranchers, farmers, farm managers/owners, and agricultural workers.


Goals to Address Rural Mental Health

The Mountain Plains MHTTC is addressing the barriers of rural mental healthcare accessibility, availability, and acceptability by developing and providing training and technical assistance that:

  • Reaches students, entry level professionals, and established providers in rural communities.
  • Highlights the appropriate use of technologies for the existing rural mental health workforce including telehealth. 
  • Covers effective practice in rural communities. Many established models for delivery of mental health care do not account for the unique challenges presented by rural communities. Providing focused training on the realities of practice for rural mental health providers can help increase the satisfaction of the patients being served by these providers.

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Our Past Training Events





Resources by Topic

There are several resources available that provide summaries of agricultural mental health concerns, up-to-date data visualizations, and toolkits for addressing barriers to mental health services for farmers, farm managers/owners, ranchers, agricultural workers and their families. 


Direct Supports for Farmers

These resources offer a variety of support for farmers including stress hotlines, disaster recovery, opioid abuse resources, and educational opportunities.

Farm & Ranch Stress, and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional stress on farmers and ranchers, harming financial stability and increasing isolation. These resources consider the impact of COVID-19 specifically.

Managing Stress, Building Resilience, and Suicide Prevention

Stress management is an important skill for workers in high stress fields like farming and ranching. The following resources offer strategies for recognizing and managing stress, including suicide prevention hotlines, tools to identify risk.

Resources for Healthcare Providers Caring for Agricultural Families

The following resources are learning and development tools for individuals serving persons with mental health disorders. Resources include toolkits, webinar recordings, and upcoming trainings.

Research, Reports, and Data on Farm Stress and Mental Health

These resources provide information and data on topics related to farm stress and mental health including demographics, the agricultural workforce, the opioid crisis, suicide rates, health care professional shortages, disasters, and others.

United States Department of Agriculture’s Extension Offices: Mental Health Topics

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds state and county extension offices. These offices provide local resources on managing the financial and emotional stressors of farming, among many other topics.