Washington invests $500k to mental health programs for farmworkers – YakTriNews KAPP-KVEW

October 29, 2021 1:43 PM

Posted: October 29, 2021 1:43 PM

FILE – In this June 16, 2020, file photo, orchard worker Francisco Hernandez reaches to pull honey crisp apples off a tree during a thinning of the trees at an orchard in Yakima, Wash. The agriculture industry is asking Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee to move migrant farmworkers and food factory workers closer to the front of the line for the coronavirus vaccine because they perform work that cannot be delayed or performed remotely. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

OLYMPIA, Wash. —Mental health has long been an overlooked topic amongst many agricultural communities, but Washington State’s Department of Agriculture is putting funds toward programs to address that.

According to the office of Eastern Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse, the Dept. of Agriculture is putting $500,000 toward programs and initiatives to provide mental health services for those working in the agricultural industry.

This includes two programs through the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) that will address behavioral health and suicide prevention in the industry.

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Rep. Newhouse applauded the funding and what it represents for the farmers and ranchers of Eastern Washington.

“Our farmers and ranchers have been working under intense conditions over the last year and a half to continue ensuring our food supply chain remains uninterrupted, and our grocery store shelves remain full,” Newhouse said. “This grant funding will go a long way towards helping these men and women deal with the stress this has caused in a healthy, manageable way.”

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These programs have been in development for several years and were funded through the 2018 Farm Bill. Mental health issues related to stress have been thoroughly researched when it pertains to farm communities across the United States.

Government officials hope these programs will spread further information about mental health and how to manage stress during times of hardship.


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