Connecticut Department of Agriculture Announces Launch of New Website to Support Farming Community in Times of Crisis
(HARTFORD, CT) – The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) announces the launch of a new website, CTFarmStressRelief.org, a compilation of mental health resources for those who make Connecticut’s agriculture industry work, including a free and confidential 24/7 crisis and support line through AgriStress Helpline Connecticut. The line is staffed by agricultural specialists who can be reached by calling or texting 833-897-2474.
“Our farming community is adept at coming to the aid of others – from food donations to barn raisings - but they aren’t always comfortable with asking for help when they need it. We know there are challenges present in the day-to-day of farming, many such as weather and market fluctuations are out of their control,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “But when that stress weighs heavy on a person, they need to know where to turn for support – and these resources: website; hotline; tools provides valuable information for all – from farm owners and employees to family members and service providers.”
The mobile responsive site includes tools, information, interviews, webinars, and videos that are needed when stress becomes too much to handle on your own. Key elements of the site include resources for managing and reducing stress, family resources for children and youth, and provider resources for those in the industry are complemented by videos and webinars from UConn’s Solid Ground program, peer-to-peer networking contacts, and business resources.
Soon to be added will be a digital toolkit for farmers and industry stakeholders with information that can be easily shared via email, websites, and social channels.
This project was funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) as part of their Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) State Department of Agriculture projects. The purpose of the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) Program is to establish a network that connects individuals who are engaged in farming, ranching, and other agriculture-related occupations to stress assistance programs. The establishment of a network that assists farmers and ranchers in time of stress can offer a conduit to improving behavioral health awareness, literacy, and outcomes for agricultural producers, workers, and their families.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state's citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state's economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.
For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 23, 2023Contact: Rebecca Eddy, 860-573-0323, Rebecca.Eddy@ct.gov