Mental Health Month Campaign Focuses on Reaching Out to Neighbors
Small Gestures, Big Impact: That’s the theme for May, Mental Health Awareness Month, by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Lisa Wherry, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee member, says it’s all about reaching out to your neighbors.
"The biggest support system we have with mental health is our friends and neighbors. And what we're doing this year is we're trying to reach out and do it week by week," Wherry said. "We're encouraging all Farm Bureau members to do this. Like we're trying to give an opportunity to send a text. The second week what we want to do is give them a card. And then on week three, what we want to do is take a ride. The next week we're saying deliver a treat, and then the last week is like make a phone call."
Wherry says farmers have a lot to deal with and talking though it can help.
"I think what we're doing this year is really big because it gives us a big opportunity to say, hey, we're thinking about you, is everything okay?," Wherry said. "Because a lot of times if we realize as farmers we're dealing with weather, governmental issues that causes anxiety, regulations, and stuff like that causes a big impact on us and that they're not alone. We're all here for them."
She adds that all farmers and ranchers face the same issues.
"Farmers are proud, we’re strong people, and we don’t want anybody to think that we're weak. We’ve got to provide food, fiber, fuel for the country, and now we're letting others know, no, it's okay if you don't feel okay. Talk about it. If you talk about it, another farmer might be dealing with the same thing you're dealing with, and you could talk through it," Wherry said. "So, we have grown leaps and bounds over the years realizing it's out there, we've got to deal with it, we’ve got to help each other, we can all work through this together."
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