Ag Symposium addresses mental health concerns in rural America

Ag Symposium addresses mental health concerns in rural America

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — South Central College and its presenting sponsor, Crystal Valley, hosted the Ag Symposium Wednesday, bringing in various speakers to discuss pressing topics in agriculture, including mental health and the stressors those in the industry are facing.

South Central College kicked off the day with Kit Welchlin, a professional speaker that started his early years in rural America and was a member of 4-H and FFA and has been keeping tabs and the stressors rural America is facing and speaks on how to not get stuck in a rut when times get tough.

“When you have a number of things that are bugging you, to get out a piece of paper and write what’s bugging me and then you write down that person bugs me, I don’t like this situation, now that I think about it, I don’t like that person either,” said Kit Welchlin, communication consultant, “and then step back and ask yourself that question, is this controllable, can I have some impact, some influence, can I do something about this? Well, if those things are controllable, get them on a list of things to do today, make the phone call, send the email, schedule the meeting.”

Suicide on the farm: How one man is trying to save lives

HARLAN, Iowa (GRAY DC) - It's a hot summer morning at Dr. Michael Rosmann's farm in Harlan, Iowa. Corn is waving in the wind, and there's a certain sense of stillness. Inside, Rosmann is answering emails and calls from farmers with messages like this: "My husband is so depressed, I don't know what to do."

Welchlin also discussed how to handle the stress when interacting with family and coworkers.

“And then self-regulation, when things aren’t going our way or when the markets are down or you’re not making money, but you’re still putting forth all the effort how do w pull ourselves out of that negativity so we can professionally and productively and positively maintain our relationships, whether it’s with the co-op or our family or any of our coworkers,” said Welchlin.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has a 24/7, free farm and rural helpline and two Rural Mental Health Specialists available.

Visit the Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline website for more information.

Stress & Crisis: Get Help Now

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.

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