LANSING — The demands of farming are plentiful — unpredictable growing seasons, equipment breakdowns and more. Unfortunately, these demands take a toll on the dedicated people who drive our agriculture industry, which can lead to stress, mental health issues and even suicide.
To help combat this, MSU Extension has added a new free four-course webinar series entitled "Bury Seeds, Not Stress."
• "Effects of stress on our bodies" by Shannon Lindquist will be held 8 a.m. Thursday, September 12. Recognizing signs and symptoms of long-term stress is the beginning of taking care of that stress and improving our overall wellness.
• The power of positive self talk" by Holly Tiret will be held noon Tuesday, September 17. One tool for dealing with our own negative inner dialogue is to learn to use positive self-talk. This webinar will explore some simple tips you can to begin to use right away.
• "Men and mental health — breaking the silence" by Sean Knurek will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday, September 18. This webinar examines the prevalence of mental health issues among men as well as the barriers to seeking and receiving treatment — and how to try to overcome them. A framework of how to have initial conversations with men about mental health will also be shared.
• "Youth and farm stress" by Karen Fifield will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, September 25. Youth may experience stress from their families' farm conditions. This webinar covers the warning signs of stress in youth, ways adults can support youth in stressful circumstances and techniques to reduce stress.
Sessions are open to farmers, family members, industry workers — anyone who wants to learn more about how to manage the stresses of farming.
For more information or to check out the full suite of MSU Extension's farm stress resources at canr.msu.edu/managing_farm_stress.