Good Health Also Means Good Mental Health
The last few years have been difficult for farm and ranch families, not to mention the addition of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last few months. Many are experiencing financial and emotional stress as a result. There are several signs or symptoms when a farm family may be in need of help. These are signs that can be observed by friends, extended family members, neighbors, milk haulers, veterinarians, clergy persons, school personnel or health and human service workers. These signs include:
Change in routines. The rancher or ranch family stops attending church, drops out of 4-H, Home makers or other groups, or no longer stops in at the local coffee shop or feed mill.
Care of livestock declines. Cattle may not be cared for in the usual way; they may lose condition, appear gaunt or show signs of neglect or physical abuse.
Increase in illness. Farmers or farm family members may experience more upper respiratory illnesses (colds, flu) or other chronic conditions (aches, pains, persistent cough).
Increase in farm or ranch accidents. The risk of farm accidents increases due to fatigue or loss of ability to concentrate; children may be at risk if there isn’t adequate childcare.
Appearance of farmstead declines. The farm family no longer takes pride in the way farm buildings and grounds appear, or no longer has the time to do maintenance work.
Children show signs of stress. Farm and ranch children may act out, decline in academic performance or be increasingly absent from school; they may also show signs of physical abuse or neglect.