New Richmond – Today, Representative Rob Stafsholt (R-New Richmond) issued the following statement after the Joint Committee on Finance approved increased funding for farmer mental health initiatives.
“As a farmer, legislator, and member of the Suicide Prevention Task Force, I am very aware of the mental health issues many farmers are struggling with on a daily basis,” said Representative Stafsholt. “The proposal approved this week opens access to mental health care for at-risk farmers.”
Within the program approved by JFC, is an allocation of $200,000 to the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection to assist at-risk farmers. The goal is to increase farmer mental health access over the next two years. The Department will use these funds to provide counseling vouches, workshops for farmers, and workshops for mental health providers that care for farmers in rural Wisconsin.
“As we move into the fall session, I believe there are several initiatives that we can still tackle in a bipartisan manner, and rural mental health continues to be one of my top priorities,” said Representative Stafsholt. “We must work to give rural citizens the tools and options they need to be successful and healthy.”
Throughout the summer, Representative Stafsholt and the Suicide Prevention Task Force have been holding hearings across the state discussing various mental health issues. The Task Force is expected to submit proposals to the legislative body later this session.
“It is sincerely humbling to be asked to serve on the Suicide Prevention Task Force,” said Representative Stafsholt. “The proposal approved this week, along with the initiatives the Task Force will unveil later this session, will greatly assist citizens of all walks of life here in our area of the state. As we know, mental illness attacks all ages, genders, and income levels.”
Representative Stafsholt represents the 29th Assembly District, which includes portions of eastern St. Croix County and western Dunn County.