Most people would assume the number of calls to a rural mental health specialist would decline when the farm economy is strong. That’s not the case. “Even in really good financial times when the commodity prices are up, the phone is still ringing,” said Monica McConkey, Minnesota Rural Mental Health Specialist. “That’s just an indicator that finances are just one piece of a whole bunch of things that farmers are facing.” McConkey said many of the people she works with are dealing with a relationship issue. The stress of farm transition is a common topic. Farming is unique with multiple generations working together. “There’s a lot to unpack in farm transitions.” McConkey also helps lead a farm suicide loss group and discusses this issue in the TransFarmation podcast. The stressors impacting farm youth are also part of this conversation.
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