Minnesota Ag Commissioner confident mental health stigmas are fading
The head of Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture believes stigmas attached to mental health are fading.
Commissioner Thom Petersen says farmer suicides are down in Minnesota while relationship issues are rising.
“Which I think is interesting. So I think we are making progress (and) the stigma is slowly coming down that it’s okay to talk about mental health. We’ve had some real high-profile people talk about it and go through it, so I think that’s been helpful.”
Speaking to Brownfield during Mental Health Awareness Day at the Minnesota State Fair, he says farmers continue to face many stressors.
“2019 was the wettest year on record, (plus) low farm income. Then we had 2020 COVID, this year we have the drought. And then just finances and all those things. But I’d say Minnesota Department of Agriculture has the best resources of any state in the union to handle and help farmers with mental health stress.”