Are you feeling stressed? Depressed? Anxious about the future? As a Montana farmer or rancher, you have good reason for such feelings. Farming and ranching is a high stress occupation. Volatile markets, financial risk, unpredictable weather, and heavy workloads all create substantial stress on farmers’, rancher’s and rural small business owners’ mental and emotional wellbeing. The current, prolonged rural economic downturn is exacerbated by “trade wars” and tariffs. The 2018 net farm income was 50 percent less than in 2013.

Additionally, Montana has only 23 percent of the mental health professionals needed for over 1 million people and most serve urban areas.

But help may be as close as your computer, tablet, or smartphone. A new, free, confidential web-based program, ThriveForMontana, offered by Montana State University’s Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery may help. Evidence-based Thrive has proven successful in helping Montana adults reduce stress, anxiety, depression and suicide risk, while increasing work productivity and resilience.

Based upon scientifically proven cognitive behavioral therapy, participants communicate more effectively, think more constructively and engage in more positive behaviors. Rugged individualists, we farmers and ranchers tend to just “cowboy up” and “git ’er done.” Sometimes we all need some help. ThriveForMontana may well be that help!

For more information, go to ThriveForMontana or call 406-994-3248.

Marvin Quinlan Jr., MT rancher

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