Rural communities across the country are realizing the need for enhanced mental health services. Here in Colorado, farmers, ranchers, and rural residents have traditionally faced barriers to this important care, but times are changing. While Coloradans across the state combat the stresses of severe and persistent drought, instability in the commodities market, misinformation targeting consumers, and rapidly changing political climates, innovative programs have been created to provide essential services to those facing depression, anxiety, and addiction.

Formed by a coalition of agriculture and behavioral health organizations and spearheaded by Colorado Farm Bureau, the Colorado Agricultural Addiction and Mental Health Program (CAAMHP) works to serve farmers and ranchers who have been impacted by the stresses of today’s world, both on and off the farm. The program aids those struggling with mental health by providing free and anonymous care in partnership with licensed care providers. To further expand the program’s reach, CAAMHP is undergoing the process of developing broader bilingual programs and service offerings for migrant laborers.

The free, anonymous vouchers provided by CAAMHP allow for up to six sessions with a licensed behavioral health professional. These professionals have all completed cultural humility training, and are specifically equipped to care for Colorado’s agrarian population. CAAMHP also offers the Adolescent Addiction Support Workshop, which is designed for parents, caregivers, and community members of adolescents struggling with addiction. The Workshop focuses on alternative parenting models, resource availability, and safety planning.

Since its creation, CAAMHP has proven itself to be an invaluable resource to rural communities throughout Colorado. The diverse representation and the clinical experience offered by the program’s care providers have allowed CAAMHP to serve people from all walks of life, with measured success. While comparable programs in other states have seen few participants return for care, CAAMHP providers have seen more than half of all participants a second time and many who have completed four or more sessions.

2022 marks an exciting time for CAAMHP and its development, as additional offerings and campaigns will continue to provide more free, accessible services to Coloradans across the state. Launching in April, Medical Provider Lunch n’ Learns will be available for medical providers, first responders, and behavioral health professionals who serve rural communities. The program is designed to empower front-line medical professionals with the knowledge and training necessary to understand rural communities, minimize the need for ongoing care or additional injury, and promote overall health.

The Colorado Farm Bureau is also proud to announce the start of The Good Neighbor Project is a broader CFB initiative to encourage checking in on one another. This will help remind our friends and neighbors that we care about one another, and if someone needs it, help is available. The program will kick off in May in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness month. Friendly postcards will provide information about CAAMHP and the Colorado Crisis Hotline. More importantly, it’s designed to encourage intentional connection with people we naturally encounter in ways that foster care. Life gets busy, but this project asks us all to slow down for just a moment and check-in with someone around us. Learn more about this program and how you can get involved.

For more information about the Colorado Agricultural Addiction and Mental Health Program or to request a voucher, please visit