CDA Mental Health in Pandemic
The Colorado Department of Agriculture is leading an effort to help agricultural and rural communities receive help for anxiety, depression and other mental health issues during the COVID pandemic.
The rate of suicide in rural areas is higher in Colorado than in urban areas. As rural areas tend to be less densely populated, social support can be more difficult to find. And risk factors for suicide are likely to be exacerbated amidst the current pandemic, according to public health researchers.
During a live Zoom event Ag Commissioner Kate Greenberg says her department has long partnered with the Department of Human Services. She likens the situation today to what was seen during the farm crisis in the 1980s.
Greenberg:” Things are always tough for agriculture. Prices are bad for a lot of folks. You’ve got that stacked on top of weather and pandemic and other diseases to manage for. Drought a lot of stacked variables that producers are always managing. That puts a lot of stress on individuals and families so in this partnership we want folks to know that they’re not alone. They don’t have to struggle alone and that we as a state, we as an ag community and with our partners in Public Health and Human Services are here to support anyone who is struggling.”
The Departments of Agriculture and Human Services are promoting Colorado Crisis Services that can be reached at 844-493-TALK. The campaign’s message tells farmers and ranchers to reach out with the saying “I was supposed to be a rock, but inside I was crumbling.”