May is Mental Health Awareness Month: How are you doing?

Lucinda Winter

By Lucinda Winter • Executive Director

Now that it’s finally safe to stop layering before heading outside, I’m hearing from both SFA staff and members that they are hitting it hard to make up for lost time this spring. May is such a busy time for farmers, especially so this year, and that can be stressful. I hope you can take a moment or two during the next few weeks to ask yourself “How am I doing?” and to reach our for help if you need it.

Minnesota has free mental health, stress, and crisis resources specifically for farmers. The Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline is open 24/7 and can be accessed by phone, text, and email. They field about 30,000 calls a year.

Phone: 833-600-2670
Text: FARMSTRESS to 898211

Ted Matthews and Monica McConkey are two Rural Mental Health Specialists on the other end of the Helpline that work with farmers across the state. It is free to call them, and there is no paperwork involved. You can find their numbers and a list of additional support programs here.

The Helpline website also includes information on assistance with food, heat, electricity, health care, and senior programs, as well as business, financial, and legal problems.

Additionally, 988 is the number to call or text for the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, accessible in both English and Spanish. Veterans, press 1.

Our friends at the Women, Food and Agriculture Network just shared an interesting list of additional resources in their newsletter you might find helpful. Thanks to them for compiling this list.




  • University of Minnesota Extension has a paper and presentation on rural community stress and offers strategies for building resilience. 
  • I-CASH (Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety and Health) has a crisis resource brochure and information for relevant mental health training available on their website

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