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LGBTQ+ people involved in U.S. farm work are over three times more likely to experience depression and suicidal intent and about two and a half times more likely to experience anxiety than the general population. That’s according to a new study led by farmer mental health experts at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“For several years, I’ve done work around farm stress and mental health among farmers in general. We’ve found people who work in agriculture have adverse mental health compared to those who work in other areas. Similarly, there are findings that queer folks have worse mental health than their straight and cisgender peers. I was motivated to do this study because there’s very little research that looks at the crossover of LGBTQ+ people who work in agriculture,” said Courtney Cuthbertson, assistant professor and Illinois Extension specialist in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at Illinois.

A recent study reveals significant mental health challenges faced by LGBTQ+ farmers in the United States. The research highlights that LGBTQ+ individuals in the farming community experience higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression compared to their heterosexual counterparts. This disparity is attributed to factors such as social isolation, discrimination, and lack of community support.

The study emphasizes that LGBTQ+ farmers often struggle with finding acceptance in rural areas, where traditional values and conservative views can prevail. This lack of acceptance can lead to feelings of isolation and exclusion, exacerbating mental health issues. Furthermore, the research points out that LGBTQ+ farmers frequently lack access to mental health services that are sensitive to their specific needs and experiences.

The findings underscore the importance of creating supportive environments and accessible mental health resources for LGBTQ+ individuals in rural and agricultural settings. Promoting inclusivity and understanding within these communities can help mitigate the mental health challenges faced by LGBTQ+ farmers, leading to improved well-being and quality of life.

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Fel Clinical Director of Content
Felisa Laboro has been working with addiction and substance abuse businesses since early 2014. She has authored and published over 1,000 articles in the space. As a result of her work, over 1,500 people have been able to find treatment. She is passionate about helping people break free from alcohol or drug addiction and living a healthy life.

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