An Effective Mental Health Literacy Program for Farm Financial Service Providers

Courtney Cuthbertson, Alison Brennan, John Shutske, John Leatherman, Andrea Bjornestad, Lori Zierl, Katelyn Macy, Mark Skidmore, Pam Schallhorn, Jami Dellifield, Esther Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Mental health literacy programs related to agriculture can help enhance skills among agricultural community members and service providers to assist farmers and producers who are experiencing distress. The aim of the current article is to describe an agricultural mental health literacy education-based intervention program offered to USDA Farm Service Agency farm financial service providers. The program was implemented as a self-paced, online training through USDA’s AgLearn platform to N = 500 FSA staff Methods: Pre-/post-evaluations were used to measure objective and self-rated knowledge and skills. Correlations, paired-samples t-tests, ANOVA, and content analysis were used to analyze data. Results: The training resulted in significant improvements in objective and self-rated knowledge. While there were no gender differences in objective knowledge, men’s self-rated knowledge and skills were significantly higher than that of women at pre-test; at post-test, there were no significant gender differences in self-rated knowledge and skills. Conclusion: Evaluations of this agricultural mental health literacy program demonstrate its effectiveness for farm financial service providers. Expanding access to such trainings among agricultural service providers who interact with producers regularly can help improve agricultural communities’ skills to initiate and engage in critical conversations about mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agromedicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


  • Farm stress
  • mental health literacy
  • program evaluation
  • suicide prevention
  • training program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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