When Farm Stress Hits Home

A lot of farmers are reaching a breaking point in their mental health. One woman found by helping herself, she’s also helping others.

Brenda Rudolph, her husband and two children live on a six-generation family farm near Little Falls, Minnesota. They milk about 80 cows and their sole income is from the dairy.

Brenda says her downward spiral was caused 100% by their financial issues. She felt they couldn’t do anything right because of their high debt load and low income from the farm. There came a point where she told herself, I am not okay.

"I wasn’t suicidal, but I hated my life. I hated where we were at, I hated everything around me, I hated being a mom, I mean I hated being married, I just hated everything. And things that I would do to reset myself, that I would find enjoyment, I wasn’t finding enjoyment out of that either," she says. "You know, it was just that I really needed help."

Brenda has blogged about life on their farm for several years. After she found a counselor, she knew she had to be honest with her readers and began writing about her journey with mental health.

"I’m amazed about how people will come up to me and talk about it and that the difference that it makes for people. That I was not expecting. I had people who were saying I see someone and stuff like that, but I don’t want my co-workers to know about it. You know, it’s just like how we all think about mental health as-a-whole," she says. "It’s no different than if I break my arm. I have to put a cast on it, I mean, there’s no difference."

Click here to read Brenda's blog, "Raising a Farmer".

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