Falling ag economy impacting farmers’ mental health

A farm succession planner says the crippling ag economy is having an impact on farmers’ mental health and she’s encouraging those who are struggling to make an appointment.

“I receive a lot of phone calls and emails from people who are in desperate times. Whether they are worried about paying foreclosure or bankruptcy. I have also had some very concerns about some suicide type conversations.”

Jolene Brown is a farmer and family business consultant from Iowa. She tells Brownfield she’s encouraging fellow farmers who need help dealing with stress to start by making an appointment with a doctor for a sore throat.  

“Because you are not going to go because you are worried and concerned and not sleeping and depressed or have outbursts or have silence, but you will go for a sore throat. So, make an appointment for a sore throat and please show up.”

Brown says she has talked to several family doctors who have recently been consulted by patients from the ag industry for coping strategies, so farmers should know they are not alone.  

Brownfield interviewed Brown at Illinois Farm Bureau’s Farm Income and Innovations Conference in Normal, Illinois.

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