Farmers and their families face a unique set of stressors that include financial risk, price and marketing uncertainties, weather and equipment challenges, and more. These factors can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, feelings of indecision, or even suicidal thoughts. The Rural Mental Health Support Program provides guidance with navigating these feelings and understanding what factors can and cannot be controlled. A focus of the program is healthy communication, which often breaks down during a stressful situation but is an important part of dealing with stress in an effective way. Farmers and family members may often feel a sense of isolation. This program is specifically designed for farmers.
It is a service that is fully funded by a grant from the Miller-Dwan Foundation, which means minimal paperwork and zero payment for farmers. It also allows access to Rich via a phone call or asking for an appointment. He will meet you somewhere you are comfortable with, which may be right on the farm.
A diagnosis of mental illness is not a prerequisite and no additional reimbursement for services is required – this means we do not need to bill insurance or charge a fee. As the demands of farming continue to increase, the necessity for addressing rural mental health becomes more acute. This service focuses on crisis intervention, problem-solving, communication skills, family mediation, and other services identified below. This program is modeled after the effectiveness of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s innovative program, and our teams work collaboratively:
Those in the agricultural community can call Rich, our Rural Mental Health Program Coordinator. There is no time limit to the phone call, and no limit to the number of times a person can call the number. Do you work with farmers and want guidance on how to address difficult situations and challenging phone calls? This resource is for you, too. Rich is also able to make in-person visits, although there are some restrictions on this due to COVID-19. Please call if you have questions on in-person visit options.
Growing up, Rich worked at a small A&W Restaurant in Superior, WI that his parents owned. He has an understanding what it is like to work in a family business. Rich served in the Air Force for four years in the Communication Squadron in Spain. He then went into a career in technology and found that he enjoyed helping people with technology and then in general - just helping people with various needs. This led him to decide to go into the counseling field, where he earned a Master of Education in Counseling from UW- Superior.
Telephonic appointments accepted – no need to schedule ahead of time, just call the number listed below.
NO insurance needed. NO charge for services. NO need for a mental health diagnostic assessment.
Program support generously provided by the Miller-Dwan Foundation