As a part of my passion and mission to help break the stigma regarding mental health in agriculture and rural America, I want to provide a mental health resource page for people to turn when it’s time to get help. This is an ever-growing list that i hope will continue to evolve as time passes.
Sites devoted to Mental Health
- The Do More Agriculture Foundation– Do More Ag is a not-for-profit organization focusing on mental health in agriculture across Canada. Although based across the border, the mission of Do More knows no lines. They have been a huge influence on the work we are trying to do here at ASoM.
- MU Extension Mental Health Toolkit – As you all know, I’m a proud Missourian. So I was very excited when University of Missouri Extension released this Mental Health Toolkit to help people through stressful times. I was also very honored and humbled that they included our podcast as one of their resources!
- T.U.G.S. – Talking, Understanding, Growing, Supporting- TUGS is a nonprofit community organization founded in 2013 with a singular mission: to address the stigma surrounding mental health challenges and suicide, particularly among those members of our society who find it most difficult to accept and express their very real personal struggles and professional frustrations. TUGS was founded in part by my friend, farmer Jeff Ditzenberger, guest of Episode 19 of the Podcast. To say Jeff is Passionate about mental health would be the understatement of the century.
- Farm Aid Resource Network– Farm Aid started as a benefit concert held September 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois, to raise money for family farmers in the United States. The concert was organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, spurred on by Bob Dylan’s comments at Live Aid earlier in that year that he hoped some of the money would help American farmers in danger of losing their farms through mortgage debt. Now it has evlolved into an entire organization built to help farmers through whatever trials they may be facing.
- Farm Counseling.org– The Minnesota Department of Agriculture understands the extreme pressure farmers face today. To ensure farmers have access to adequate help that suits their needs, the Department of Ag. provides subsidized counseling for farms. Ted Matthews is the director of MN Rural Mental Health and is based out of Hutchinson, Minnesota.
- Suicide Prevention Corporation of Iowa County Wisconsin– A grass roots organization started in rural Wisconsin spurred from the need of concerned citizens to break the stigma around mental health. They are a group of concerned citizens from a variety of professions ranging from law enforcement, mortician, therapist, educators, religious personnel, medical personnel, and Survivors of a Suicide loss.
- Ag Behavioral Health
- Nebraska Rural Response Hotline Website-When a farmer, rancher, or rural resident calls the Hotline, an experienced staff person will answer to respond directly to callers, discuss issues and needs, provide helpful information, and refer callers to attorneys, financial counselors, clergy, and other farmers, and mediation. Hotline number: 1-800-464-0258. Thanks Ben Gotschall
- Columbus Recovery Center– A comprehensive and broad range of mental health resources.
- Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH)– a multidisciplinary collaboration of five leading research and health care institutions. This collaboration brings together unique and complimentary expertise to address existing and emerging occupational health and safety issues in agriculture. They have recently taken significant action in getting resources out for stress and mental health in ag. Megan Schossow from UMASH is guest on episode 28 of ASoM
- Eyes on the Horizon– Monica Kramer McKonkey is a great resource for farmer and farm families to go directly to with their issues. Monica was guest on episode 52 of the podcast
- Rural Mental Wellness Toolkit-The Stigma-Free Society is a Canadian Charity registered since 2010 and their mission is to reduce the stigma around mental health. In rural and agricultural communities across North America, there is a mental health crisis due to the lack of resources that exist, and the stigma discourages people from getting help. SFS has created this Rural Mental Wellness Toolkit to provide resources for individuals living in agricultural and rural communities.
- The Southwest Ag Center Stress Management & Crisis Support Toolkit– The Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education (Southwest Ag Center or SW Ag Center) was created in late 1995 at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler to serve Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas as part of a program initiative of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The initiative established a network of centers, funded on a competitive basis, to conduct programs of research, prevention, intervention, education and outreach designed to reduce occupational injuries and diseases among agricultural workers and their families. Shelbie Powell from SW ag center was guest on episode 94 of ASOM
Blogs Addressing Mental Health in Ag
- Beef Daily– Amanda Radke of Beef Magazine made this post a few months ago mentioning several different posts that spoke directly about mental health in ag. You’ll notice that many of the articles she mentions were written by guest of Episode 12 of our podcast, Holly Spangler. Recently, Amanda posted another piece about mental health in ag where she spoke about her own experience and also the work my friend Adrienne Desutter is doing.
- High Heels and Canola Fields– Lesley Kelly, one of the co-founders of the Do More Agriculture Foundation, is very candid on her personal blog regarding mental health. Lesley is a great resource and a pioneer in breaking down the stigma around mental health in agriculture. Lesley was our featured guest on Episode 13.
- Big Sky FarmHer– Michelle Erickson-Jones, guest on Episode 18 of the podcast, is a wonderful advocate for mental health in ag. She has been very open on-line about her struggles with first postpartum depression, then anxiety. She is an outstanding advocate for mental health in ag!
- Jessica Peters – Jessica is a dairy farmer from Pennsylvania who contributes to Hoards Dairyman. Jessica is a trailblazer in using social media to raise awareness of mental health in ag. Be sure to head over to head over to Instagram and give her a follow. @seejessfarm. Jess was also guest on episode 20 of the podcast
- Hank Wade – Hank is a retired firefighter and millitary veteran who is very passionate about agriculture advocacy and mental health. He has a wonderful story to tell about how he has found his place among the ag community. Be on the lookout, Hank will be a podcast guest in the near future!
This is just the beginning of a comprehensive resource page. This is something that I plan to continue to build on as I come across more resources. So check back often!!