Weather, debt, milk prices all factors in farmer’s mental health

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JAVA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The numbers show Wyoming County has the highest suicide rate among farmers in the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions.

The rural county has the 8th highest suicide rate in the state, and nationally, the trend shows farmers have a suicide rate that’s 3.5 percent higher than the general population.

Senator Charles Schumer said there isn’t enough data that focuses on farmers and suicide. He’s now calling on the Centers for Disease Control to conduct a study that’s more specific.

“Farmers are resilient, but they’re under huge amounts of pressure, financial pressure, family pressure all kinds of pressure, and so we should address it,” Schumer said. “It’s been on the increase lately, more than ever before, we don’t know exactly why so first we should find out why and do things to address it.”

Schumer also wants to provide more access to mental health services to farmers through the “Seeding Rural Resilience Act” he’s encouraging Congress to pass.

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