Using Digital Dashboards to Implement and Evaluate Programs


Agricultural producers throughout the United States (US)

and Missouri are in crisis. The mental health crisis in rural

“…with just 3.7% of the

Missouri is more challenging than in urban communities,

recommended supply filled,

due to a unique set of external challenges faced by farmers

Missouri faces the largest

and ranchers. Recent studies, media coverage and

congressional action validate the need to address mental

shortage of behavioral health care

health outcomes in rural communities. Contributing to

providers in the U.S.”

mental health challenges on the farm, recent extreme

weather events, economic pressure and foreign trade

policies have combined to produce a series of lean years for agricultural producers not seen since the farm

crisis of the 1980s.

While the U.S. economy has experienced quarter-over-quarter growth since the end of the recession in

2008-2009, the farm sector has experienced six periods of recession. Missouri has nearly 16,000 fewer

family farms today compared to 20 years ago, and bankruptcies are on the rise. Bushel prices have fallen by

47% since 2012, while farm income and credit conditions have deteriorated.

Pervasive stigma and geographic barriers to accessing mental health care can prevent those in need of

behavioral health services from seeking help for stress, anxiety and depression. Each of Missouri’s 99 rural

counties is a designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), and with just 3.7% of the

recommended supply filled, Missouri faces the largest

shortage of behavioral health care providers in the

“Between 2003 and 2017, the

U.S. The prevalence of depression among Midwestern

farmworkers is estimated to be more than 45%.

suicide rate among rural

Furthermore, the rate of heavy alcohol use among

Missourians grew by 78%...”

full-time workers in agriculture is 9.4%, higher than

the overall rate of 8.7% among all other full-time

workers. NCR producers face financial-, weather-, and

time-related stressors as well as stressors related to

complex governmental regulations. Net farm income has fallen 30.5% below its peak in 2013. Financial

circumstances are associated with depression and anxiety among NCR agricultural producers and, in a

national poll, more than 80% of farmers and farmworkers indicated that financial issues, farm or business

problems, and the fear of losing their farm had a strong negative impact on their mental health. Suicide is

growing at an alarming rate in rural Missouri. Between 2003 and 2017, the suicide rate among rural

Missourians grew by 78%, and throughout the last decade, their hospital emergency department visits for


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