Rural Mental Health


Crisis can take many forms for many different people. Don't know where to start? Start Here.

If you need help, call 1-844-494-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255.

When a farmer and rancher is facing a crisis, it can create an emotional toll on every aspect of life. From paying bills, to feeding their children, caring for the livestock and crops, retirement options, and even what they will be able to leave their heirs, the worry and anxiety can be overwhelming. The agricultural community has always come together to help our neighbors in a time of need and that is what this effort is all about: pulling together to help others through this stressful time. Please reach out to the Colorado Crisis Services if you, or someone you love, is struggling.



Additional Resources:

An effort by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado State University Extension, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, and the Colorado Department of Human Services

Behavioral Health Working Group


Apply to be part of the Behavioral Health Working Group

CDA is accepting applications from people who would like to participate in the Behavioral Health Working Group, which is tasked with supporting CDA and the Behavioral Health Administration in identifying gaps and compiling best practices for providing behavioral health care to agricultural communities. 

Work group applicants should represent one of the following groups:

  • Farm Worker or Member Organization Representing Farm Workers
  • Rural Behavioral Health Provider
  • Individual with Lived Experience with mental health, behavioral health, or substance use disorders/issues and recovery
  • Statewide Agricultural Organization with Behavioral Health Programs
  • Statewide Organization with Behavioral Health Programs
  • Veteran Service Organization
  • Indian Tribe 

The working group will meet monthly and will be responsible for shaping guidance around providing behavioral health care to farmers, ranchers, other agricultural industry workers and their families. This includes compiling best practices, identifying gaps in services and engaging with other stakeholders. The working group will report their findings to CDA and BHA and recommend legislative or policy changes. 

Apply by filling out the google form

Mental Health Partnerships


In July 2021, CDA was awarded a $500,000 from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to support the vitality and mental wellbeing of Colorado's agricultural workers and producers through community-based efforts to manage the increasing stresses on our agricultural communities.

Through this grant, CDA worked with five sub-grantee organizations to increase culturally competent training for crisis responders and increase awareness and access to mental health care for farmers, ranchers, and ag workers. 

CDA partnered with the following organizations:

Taking Stock of Mental Health webinar

To commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month, CDA hosted a virtual discussion about rural mental health. Watch the recording of our mental health virtual discussion below!


2022 Mental Health Grants


Mental Health funding

During the 2022 legislative session, the Colorado Department of Agriculture received an appropriation of $200,000 to dedicate to mental health programs. CDA will distribute this funding through a competitive grant process. 

CDA’s grant objectives are to increase awareness of mental & behavioral health services and resources in Colorado, provide or help facilitate mental & behavioral health services, and continue the efforts to destigmatize mental health.  

Mental health is directly tied to the overall health of our rural and agricultural communities. 

According to Kaiser Family Foundation, 32 percent of Coloradans reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder in 2021. Additionally, rural youth in Colorado are twice as likely to die by suicide, according to Colorado Rural Health.

The Mental Health Grant Program will be administered by the Agricultural Drought and Climate Resilience Office (ADCRO)

Silhouette image of a man in cowboy hat gently petting a horse at sunset. Text: Mental health grant funding for organizations serving rural Colorado


Four Behavioral Health Projects Serving Rural Colorado Funded by $200,000 in Competitive CDA Grants

CDA received 55 applications from organizations serving 63 of Colorado’s 64 counties, requesting more than $3.3 million in funding with the average request of approximately $65,000.

The four awarded applicants were:

  • Community Health Initiatives will provide resilience and skills training to at-risk communities in Western Colorado, serving military, first responders, cancer patients, and aging adults and their families. The training teaches families practical skills to help them meet the challenges of military life such as deployments, stress, injury, and other transitions. Total grant amount: $61,000

  • Loving Beyond Understanding, Inc. will increase availability and quality of care and services for LGBTQ+ community, including trans and nonbinary people, by providing counseling sessions to youth and parents. The project also funds cultural competency training for existing medical professionals and other service providers who interact with LGBTQ+ people in rural communities in Western Colorado. Total grant amount: $61,000

  • Northwest Colorado Health will increase access to direct and indirect behavioral health services during primary and dental visits, while assuring providers maximize clinic time. Serving Routt and Moffat county, this funding will allow NCH to increase patient care and outreach to rural and agricultural communities. Targeted plans will be developed in collaboration with community partners such as the CSU Extension Office, the Community Agriculture Alliance and local 4-H Clubs. Total grant amount: $27,500

  • Project Protect Food Systems Workers will distribute care kits and perform mental and behavioral health outreach to agricultural workers across the state. The goal of the project is to increase awareness of services and reduce stigma associated with seeking mental and behavioral health services among their target demographic, which includes low income, Spanish-speakers. Total grant amount: $50,000

The four projects will touch 34 rural Colorado counties, and provide services to several different at-risk and underserved populations including: agricultural workers, LGBTQIA+ youth and families, veterans and emergency responders, and cancer patients and their families. 

The Rural Mental Health Grant Program was funded by a one-time appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly during the 2022 legislative session. 

Mental Health Resources

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has compiled a list of mental health and other resources available in Colorado and across the US. 

Please use the searchable format on the right to find the resources you're looking for. 

If you are a provider and would like to be added to this resource, please email us at cda_info@state.co.us.