Mental Health Hotlines Help Rural Farmers In Tough Situations

Rural areas have higher per capita depression and suicide rates than do urban areas. So farmers, who by nature of the profession are already isolated, experience even greater duress when economic or environmental stressors threaten their livelihood. A program called Sowing the Seeds of Hope, based in Harlan, Iowa, provides free mental health hotlines for farmers in seven Midwestern states. Hotline organizers say that when farmers face hard times, as with poor crops or being forced to sell equipment and animals, their sense of failure is more than just a financial one. Calling hotlines to discuss financial stress and personal and relationship troubles with people who understand an agricultural lifestyle can be very helpful. Sowing the Seeds of Hope also provides community education, counseling vouchers, and retreats and support groups. Learn more at the Sowing the Seeds Of Hope website.

© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

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  • coleen


    July 7th, 2010 at 2:26 AM

    I know the problems that farmers face because I grew up on a farm for a couple of years and yes,it is a lot more harder for people there compared to those in more urban areas.

  • sheryl


    July 7th, 2010 at 4:20 AM

    I am very curious about how they are getting the word out to those who need this kind of help that there are actually are resources for them to utilize in these situations. That is the downfall of most care that I have found- there is often more help out there and available than what people realize. Therefore they do not seek the help because they do not necessarily know that it exists. Getting the word out about services is sometimes even more difficult than getting people to take advantage of it.

  • Muller


    July 7th, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    after having read about rural mental health care facilities being shut down due to lack of funds this is good news for the rural folk.and the fact that this kind of an exercise requires minimal resources is all the more appealing!

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