American Soybean Association to launch mental health campaign


American Soybean Association to launch mental health campaign

The American Soybean Association (ASA) is launching a campaign to help farmers stay mentally healthy while dealing with COVID-19 and other farm hardships. Farmers are frequently segregated naturally but are currently not able to attend events where they’d be close to others, said Kevin Scott, vice president of the ASA.

“Along with the planting stress, we also have the social stress of not being able to physically visit with people,” Scott told Brownfield Ag News Thursday.

The ASA’s COVID-19 Task Force conducted a survey indicating stress among farmers is high. Scott, who farms in southeastern South Dakota, felt it personally when his grandchild was born six weeks prematurely and he could only wait in the hospital parking lot for word that the child was doing ok.

“I still haven’t seen that grandchild and it’s been four weeks,” said an emotional Scott, “so yeah, COVID kind of affects you.”

The #SoyHelp campaign will include social media posts throughout May Mental Health Month as well as expert advice on farm stress and seeking emotional support.

“Emotional struggles are not one-size-fits-all,” said Wendy Brannen, ASA Sr. Director of Marketing & Communications. “Our team has researched resources to accommodate an array of individuals and their needs, and how they or their families can seek qualified help – and we are hopeful this campaign can melt away a bit of the stigma that sometimes still exists in talking openly about the tolls of stress and seeking help.”

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