Minnesota Farmers now have some stress help

A new Farm & Rural Helpline is now available to Minnesota farmers and rural residents. The service, funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), is free, confidential, and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll free number is (833) 600-2670.

Minnesota farmers

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is helping to fund a Farm and Rural Helpline for those folks out in the country who are going through tough times. Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone when things get tough. It’ll keep you moving in the right direction.

Farmers and rural communities face unique stresses and emotional situations, including financial challenges, unpredictable weather, physically demanding work, and more. As stress, anxiety, depression, financial burdens, and other mental and emotional issues continue to impact the lives of Minnesota farmers and rural residents, the MDA recognized the need for ongoing support.

“I farmed for 24 years, so I’m no stranger to the stress and worry that can be part of farming,” said MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “I know that sometimes it helps to talk to someone about problems that can seem insurmountable. There is always help available around the corner.”

As an active farmer during the economic crisis of the 1980s, Commissioner Frederickson experienced first-hand the emotional toll farming can take on individuals and families.

He also knows that resources are available in Minnesota to families navigating the unique challenges facing farmers on a daily basis. The Farm & Rural Helpline can connect callers to financial assistance programs, health and mental health services, legal help, and more. Calls are confidential, but counselors may ask for a first name and phone number in case of a dropped call. Translation services are also available, with translators available in all languages.

The Farm & Rural Helpline is also available to those unsure of what to do about family or friends who may be experiencing anxiety, depression, or a mental health crisis.

Minnesota farmers and rural Minnesotans can call the toll free number as often as needed at (833) 600-2670.

Farmers are often independent by nature. It’s what helps them succeed in their chosen profession. Don’t be afraid to reach out and find someone to talk to. It’ll keep you healthy and going in the right direction to unload the stuff that’s on your mind, once in a while.

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Seek help to battle depression

There’s no question, that sadness is a part of the human condition. But what if that sadness has been hanging on awhile? What if you’re not coming out of it? It may be a sign of something a little more serious than a bad day.

It’s possible that you may have clinical depression, and it’s more than just “feeling sorry for yourself.”

Are feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or emptiness accompanying these rough days? WebMd.com has a list of thing you might want to consider. Major changes in your appetite or sleeping patterns are two of the bigger factors to look at.

Terry Riley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with Pathways, Inc., in Rochester, Minnesota. He talked about some of the factors he considers when making a diagnosis of depression:

 

A loss of interest in things a person once enjoyed is a big factor as well. “You’re no longer doing things that you find enjoyable,” said Riley. “You aren’t doing things like hunting, snowmobiling, knitting, watching movies, or anything you like to do.” He said, “It’s not normal to feel this way.”

Helpguide.com says people with untreated depression run a major risk for suicide. The National Association of Mental Illness says suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America, so it’s something to take very seriously.

Riley said, “All emotions serve a purpose. If I’m feeling this down, maybe it’s an indication that there’s something not quite right in my life.”

Riley said depression isn’t just hard on you, but everyone around you:

 

Riley said it’s so important for people to seek help if they experience these symptoms. He said you’re not defective. There’s simply something going on that needs to be repaired:

 

Blue Shield of California, a non-profit health plan founded by a group of physicians, put together some information on depression and how to get help:

 

 

Ashley Judd attends a press conference at Coatepeque,Guatemala, on May 2, 2006. Judd says she spent 47 days in a Texas treatment facility in February for depression and other emotional problems, in an interview in Glamour magazine. "I needed help," the 38-year-old actress tells the magazine in its August issue. "I was in so much pain."(AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

Ashley Judd attends a press conference at Coatepeque,Guatemala, on May 2, 2006. Judd says she spent 47 days in a Texas treatment facility in February for depression and other emotional problems, in an interview in Glamour magazine. “I needed help,” the 38-year-old actress tells the magazine in its August issue. “I was in so much pain.”(AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

 

Please, seek help. There are people who want to help you. There is light at the end of the tunnel!