Don’t Let Your Stress Get The Upper Hand

Give yourself down time to enjoy and appreciate life. ( File Photo )

Stress can be a motivating factor but, at extreme levels, it can be toxic to both body and soul.

A new and free online course, sponsored by Farm Credit, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and National Farmers Union, can help you determine the type of stress you, a bovine client, employee or loved one, are dealing with.

A magnitude of factors is adding to anxiety, says Todd Van Hoose, president and CEO of Farm Credit Council, which is acting as a heavy weight on rural America’s mental health.

“If it wasn't low commodity prices, it was disastrous weather, it was uncertain trade, and now the pandemic,” Van Hoose says.
“All of that is taking a toll, and then this pandemic is isolating people.”

 “One of the misconceptions is we all thought most of the mental health problems were in urban America,” adds Zippy Duvall, president of AFBF. “When we've done our surveys, we found was a tremendous amount of mental health problems out in rural America.”

While AFBF and partners are focused primarily on farmers and ranchers, the course is designed to help anyone who needs support—and you can take advantage of the course anonymously.

 “There comes a point where you need some help, and so we set up a program,” Van Hoose says. “It's a stress technique program and mental health awareness program, all online, all private. You can go to our website (, and right there on the front of the website, you can click a button, and it can give you a course.”

He says the course takes about three hours in total, but it’s an in-depth program to help you identify signs of stress, understand the resources and then find coping strategies that work. The course is free.

The online resources are something Duvall hopes can provide a message of hope and help.

“We all know it’s going to get better, but can we get through until it gets better,” says Duvall. “That's the most difficult thing. How do we get there? And how do we keep our minds healthy to be able to get to that point? We're here to help you.”

To access the free online course and learn coping strategies that work for you, sign up today with this link.