Farming can be a stressful occupation. Often, you live where you work. Your coworkers may be your spouse and/or other family members. While you get to be your own boss, you feel responsible for a lot and can control very little.
Financial problems, price and marketing uncertainties, farm transfer issues, production challenges, marital difficulties, and social pressures can be real sources of stress — even crisis — for farmers and farm family members.
There are people and organizations ready to help.
Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline
833-600-2670 x 1
Free, confidential, 24/7. This call center is located in Minnesota. Calls are answered by trained staff and volunteers. If you or someone you know is struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts — call. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to somebody you don’t know.
Minnesota Rural Mental Health Specialists
- Ted Matthews, 320-266-2390
- Monica McConkey, 218-280-7785
Ted and Monica work with farmers throughout Minnesota. No cost; no paperwork. The service is available thanks to funds from the Minnesota Legislature. While you are welcome to contact either Monica or Ted, Monica generally serves the area north of Highway 12 (which runs from Ortonville through Willmar to the Twin Cities) and Ted generally serves the area south of Highway 12.
Mobile Crisis Teams
Available in every Minnesota county, mobile crisis team counselors can respond quickly and provide in-person, short-term counseling or mental health services during a crisis or emergency. Calls are answered immediately 24 hrs/day. Responders travel in private vehicles and generally arrive within 2 hours.
University of Minnesota Extension
Extension helps families and small towns respond to economic, environmental, and societal challenges that affect rural Minnesota and farming communities. Its Coping with Rural Stress page points the way to financial and mental health resources.
Cultivating Resiliency for Women in Agriculture
Raising awareness of farm stress is important, but offering some tools to help weather the stress is critical. Sessions to Help Weather Stress is an interactive online series to help women in agriculture cultivate resiliency by focusing on what they can control in these challenging times and connect them with resources and information that can help them weather stress. It’s produced by The U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers were established by the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH).
Prompted by the many sources of stress currently impacting farmers and ranchers, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Red River Farm Network have joined forces to create a new radio and podcast series called TransFARMation.
- TransFARMation: Farm Stress in Farm Children
- TransFARMation: Maneuvering the Farm Economy and Moving Forward
- TransFARMation: Faith and Farming
- TransFARMation: If Your Horse is Dead, It’s not Going to Get you to Town
- TransFARMation: Dealing with the Uncontrollable
- TransFARMation: It’s OK To Not Be OK
- TransFARMation: Taking Time for a Farm Transition
Seeds of Promise: Growing Resiliency in Times of Stress
Our partners at Northwest Minnesota Foundation created a free webinar series to support farmers and ranchers in response to difficult conditions in the industry. The topics are:
- Coping in a time of Stress – Presented by Shauna Reitmeier, MSW, LGSW
- Addressing Ag-Related Stress, Self-Care and Resiliency – Presented by Dr. Brenda M. Mack, DSW, MSW, LICSW
- Helping Farm Couples Survive & Thrive in Difficult Times – Presented by Monica Kramer McConkey, MA, LPC
This webinar series has been funded by a grant from The Funder’s Network and the NMF work with the Philanthropic Preparedness Response and Emergency Partnership learning cohort.
NAMI Minnesota is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with mental illnesses and their families. They offer information, classes, support groups, and suicide prevention training.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call: 800-273-8255 (Veterans, press 1)
Crisis Text Line
Text MN to 741 741
Both these numbers offer immediate free and confidential support for people in distress. They give information about prevention and crisis resources to people who are worried about themselves or someone else.
Primary source: Minnesota Department of Agriculture