Dairy Farmer Challenges Mental Health Stigma in Rural Areas

April 8, 2019

According to the nonprofit organization Mindful Minds, farmers are at high risk for mental health crises due largely to the unpredictable nature of the profession, while negative stigma also permeates the culture of the Midwest. To combat stigma, Mindful Minds aims to spread mental health knowledge and awareness in rural agricultural communities. In rural Lake City, Minn., a dairy farmer has become an unlikely mental health advocate. Debbie Mills has chosen to speak publicly about her experience seeking counseling to treat depression in the hopes that others will relate to her story and get help when they need it. In East Texas, the creation of the Burke Mental Health Emergency Center, which focuses on telemedicine, gives rural health care organizations and law enforcement new choices where few used to exist – and it has saved hospitals $18 million over seven years. Funding is available from HRSA to help health centers increase access to high-quality, integrated behavioral health services, applications are due May 13. Explore proven strategies to address behavioral health and other rural disparities at NRHA’s 42nd Annual Rural Health Conference May 7-10 in Atlanta, Ga.

man with dairy cows
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