Washington, D.C. - Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) ensured $10 million for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) to give states additional resources to provide mental health services for farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. The funding was included in the budget agreement secured last night.
“Those who work in agriculture face uniquely high-stress challenges ranging from long hours to strong dependence on factors outside of their control. The plight of our farmers, agriculture and rural communities has continued to rise. Funding the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network will help connect our rural communities to the resources they need. I am hopeful that this funding will ensure our farmers get care before crisis." said Congressman Emmer, whose district encompasses areas of rural Minnesota including parts of Stearns, Benton, Wright and Sherburne Counties.
Due to the nature of their work and the lack of mental health treatment available, individuals who work in agriculture suffer from higher rates of depression and suicide. The Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network was first authorized in 2008, but it did not receive any funding and therefore lapsed.
Emmer introduced the STRESS Act in 2018, which would renew FRSAN, restoring our nation's attention to Americans in rural areas who suffer from a lack of access to mental health care. The STRESS Act language was included in the 2018 Farm Bill, and the program was reauthorized. This signals the full funding of the FRSAN program.