Oregon launches crisis helpline for agriculture and forestry workers

A crisis helpline for Oregon’s agriculture and forestry communities is now open.

The Oregon Agristress Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by call or text. You can reach the helpline at 833-897-2474.  It can be reached in up to 160 languages and the text line serves English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Oregon has become the seventh state to link with the helpline.  Oregon State University has become the first academic institution and the first land grant university to partner with a state on the helpline.

“This is an important milestone in the effort to provide mental health assistance for folks who are vulnerable to suicide,” said Allison Myers, associate dean for Extension and engagement at the OSU College of Health. “I want to express my enormous gratitude for the numerous people and organizations who got behind this and were able to make it a reality.”

According to the National Rural Health Association, the rate of suicide for farmers is 3½ times higher than the national average per capita. Mental Health America, a national nonprofit advocacy organization, placed Oregon nearly at the bottom of its state rankings for a higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care.

According to Oregon Violent Death Reporting System, deaths by suicide in Oregon have been higher than the national average since at least 2001, and they are increasing year over year.

Calls are answered by credentialed suicide/crisis specialists trained in cultural competencies in agricultural mental health and factors affecting mental health, including production and financial issues, injuries, market fluctuations and family dynamics. Their training meets the standards of the American Association of Suicidology.

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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