SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Agricultural Community is set to receive mental health and wellness assistance.

The Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) announced their new MassGrownWellness (MGW) program, which is designed to address mental health and wellness needs of those in the Massachusetts agricultural community and their supporters.

It specifically targets issues directly impacting farmers and other agricultural organizations, such as financial difficulties, depression, and others. MDAR will provide the farming community with critical resources to enhance their access to mental health services through MGW.

“Massachusetts farmers pride themselves on their ability to produce healthy, high-quality crops and livestock, but unfortunately, they often overlook their own mental health and well-being,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “MDAR recognizes the specific challenges facing our agricultural community, its supporters, and stakeholders, and is committed to providing resources that address their unique mental health and wellbeing, including those of veterans and our underserved black, indigenous, and people of color farming network.”

MDAR will launch free MWG in-person, as well as an online interactive training and discussion seminars in January 2023. The sessions will help deliver a better understanding and raise awareness about mental health, self-care, and unique stressors that affect farmers, their families, work colleagues, as well as organizations that support the Massachusetts agricultural community.

“The Department of Mental Health applauds the creation of MassGrownWellness, and several other initiatives across the state, which focus on bringing mental health care to people when and where they need it,” said Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) Commissioner Brooke Doyle. “Farmers and their families are among the traditionally underserved communities that we are working to offer easily accessible care to.”

According to MDAR’s survey of farmers and agriculture community stakeholders, 85% of respondents had some level of mental health impact as a result of working in agricultural. MGW aims to fill the gap in providing these resources to the Commonwealth and will initiate impactful conversations about mental well-being.