UMASH Success Story: Stress and Mental Health

UMASH Success Story: Stress and Mental Health



Agricultural communities are facing a mental health crisis. According to surveys from UMASH partners, 90% of women experience stress related to agriculture. Of agricultural college students surveyed, 50% reported signs and symptoms of stress among their friends and family members. Multiple severe stressors and inadequate access to supportive resources contribute to this crisis.


UMASH engaged participants in a multidisciplinary forum to understand the mental health issues in agriculture.

Three innovative partner projects were funded to address different aspects of the crisis. These projects continue their work beyond the initial funding cycle to deliver positive, sustainable impacts in the agricultural community.

Partnering With the Ag Community to Prevent Mental Health Crisis

NAMI Minnesota trained 318 farm community members with QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention trainings and 2 Mental Health First Aid Trainings, which reached over 800 people. Participants reported improvements in awareness, perceived skills, and preparedness.

Cultivating Resiliency for Women in Agriculture

Women in agriculture experience unique stressors. This project supported their needs with several approaches

  • Virtual telehelp webinars
  • Online early stress- detection questionnaire
  • In-person presentations
  • Online coffee chats

Thousands of participants attended these events. The project launched a stress and mental health podcast series for women in agriculture.

Stress and Mental Health Conversations with the Next Generation of Agriculture

This program educates students at agricultural colleges, by integrating mental health and stress content into the curriculum through a motion graphic and a toolkit for community-based conversations.

Since December 2019, Gear Up for Ag Health and Safety™ has been delivered 26 times to over 3,000 students across multiple continents, including the US, Canada, Sweden, Australia, and more.

“There was such a sense of community in the room. You could ‘feel’ the isolation breaking down.”

“UMASH realized the immediate funding needs for rural stress and mental health which supported rapid, meaningful programs and research.”

“UMASH allowed us to start the mental health conversation during our program”