Mental health is a community effort

The founder of a non-profit says that it is finally becoming okay to talk about mental health in agriculture and rural America.

Randy Roecker founded “The Farm Angel Network” more than a year ago. The Facebook page gives people an open forum to talk about farm stress, mental health, and suicide. He says that focusing on mental health is a community effort, and if you pay attention to your loved ones, you can spot some signs.

“One of the things we discussed too was the warning signs, what to look for. A person lets their appearance go, either ate a lot or not enough, didn’t sleep, slept too much, everything; there’s all these signs, and you just don’t care anymore,” he states. “These are the warning signs that you have to look out for, and the biggest thing is just talk or listen to your neighbors. Go over there and see how they are doing and just listen to how they are doing and just have a good visit with them.”

Roecker says that COVID helped shine a light on mental health, with restaurant workers and small business owners really struggling right now. He says that the next problem they fear is children who see their parents struggling.

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