Talking About Stress And Mental Health In Rural America

May 15, 2020  | 2 min  | Ep4539

This week, we assembled four individuals from the agriculture and clinical fields to discuss mental health and the stress that’s amplified the last two months. The program is available on our YouTube channel and website and may be broadcast on the same stations you watch this program.

Angie Setzer/VP of Grains, Citizens Elevator: “I see us running into decision fatigue often, especially now it seems like every time you turn around you're having to make another decision that you don't want to make and that leads to yet another decision and another decision. And so I'm talking to hundreds of farmers a week across the countryside here and it's very common just to hear kind of that sound or the underlying tone in the conversation of what do I do? How do I fix this? And where do we go from here?”

Dr. Michael Rossman, Clinical Psychologist: “On May 13 I participated in a telephone conference call with a number of operators of Farm Crisis telephone and hotline services. Across the board everybody was saying that the number of callers to these free services has increased greatly. One hotline said 50,000 calls in the past 2 months.”

Emily Krekelberg/University of Minnesota Extension Educator: “And you can usually tell just by looking somebody in the eye if something is wrong. And part of that I think just ties into human intuition or you get that gut feeling and for me that is really something that I notice or if they won't look at you, especially somebody who usually will make eye contact, so people I deal with regularly and suddenly they're very standoffish, that is usually a big red flag for me.”

Adrianne DeSutter/Farmer and Former Counselor: “Meeting them where they're at and then genuineness, that real empathy, you don't have to be a doctor or a therapist to have a conversation with someone. Really listen to what they're saying and express that empathy and say, this is hard, this is hard that you're going through this, but I'm going to be here with you through that.”

Phone numbers to call: 


Avera Farm and Rural Stress/800-691-4336
Iowa Concern Hotline/800-447-1985
National Suicide Prevention/800-273-TALK
Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline/833-600-2670
Rural Safe/800-270-1898



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