Policy Advocacy Brief
Issue Statement/Executive Summary
Minnesota relies on farmers to put food on our tables and to help drive our economy. The chronic stressors associated with an unstable farm economy is taking its toll on farm families all across Minnesota. Chronic stress can contribute to marital tensions, domestic violence, work disruption, depression, anxiety, and suicide. Minnesota has only 1 mental health counselor dedicated to doing outreach and crisis counseling to farm families. Many mental health professionals lack competency in working in rural communities, including understanding farm related stressors. Minnesota is doing some things right, like the Minnesota Farm and Rural Help Line. But, it needs to do more to strategically invest in effective and innovative approaches that improve acceptability, accessibility, and availability of mental health services and supports to farm families across Minnesota.
Frybarger, T., Koch, L., Thao, K., & Wicks, T. (2019). A crisis in the farming community: A pathway to acceptable, accessible and available mental health care in rural Minnesota. MSW Program Policy Briefs, Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/msw-student-policy-advocacy-briefs/21