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As financial worries grow, farmers grapple with mental health

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Green corn plants grow in a field.
Corn grows on a farm in Saint James, Minn. on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News

The stress of farming can lead to anxiety or depression. It can also trigger or worsen other mental health conditions.

But people living in rural counties often have to go farther than those in cities to find a mental health professional. And, they have fewer options. Most non-metro counties do not have a psychiatrist. Nearly half don't have a psychologist. What’s more, the costs of care can be crushing, with many agricultural workers earning wages below the poverty line.

Angela Davis talks with state leaders and a representative from the Minnesota Farmers Union about how farmers cope and how they can find the care they need.

Guests:

Thom Petersen, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Dr. Jordan Baechler, Assistant Commissioner for the Health Improvement Bureau at the Minnesota Department of Health

Stacy Twite, Interim Assistant Commissioner for the Community Supports Administration at the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Bryan Klabunde, Vice President of the Minnesota Farmers Union