Senator Marshall Co-Sponsors USDA Investment in Farmer and Rancher Mental Health
Washington, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. launched an Ag Mental Health Awareness campaign. September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Senator Marshall is working with Agriculture organizations across the state to bring attention to the mental health resources available to farmers, ranchers, and other members of rural communities.
Senator Marshall endorsed and co-sponsored the Farmers First Act of 2023, bipartisan legislation that supports the administration of mental health services for farmers and ranchers in rural areas and expands access to critical mental health support and resources.
“At this time of volatility in the agriculture sector and the global economy, we must ensure that our farmers and ranchers are given all the support necessary to continue moving forward, including strong mental health infrastructure,” Senator Marshall said. “I am proud to work with our local leaders and help raise awareness of the resources across the state and decrease the stigma of taking care of prioritizing mental health.”
The Farmers First Act of 2023 will reauthorize the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN), a program that connects farmers, ranchers, and other agriculture workers to stress assistance programs and resources. Through FRSAN, state departments of agriculture, state extension services, and non-profits receive funding to establish helplines, provide suicide prevention training for farm advocates, and create support groups for farmers and farm workers. The Farmers First Act of 2023 would increase funding for the program, authorizing $15 million per year for the program for the next five years, up from $10 million.
You may click HERE to read the full bill text.