LINCOLN COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — Across KELOLAND, many farmers are dealing with a lot of stress, due to a wet spring, prices and other issues that are taking a toll.
Last week KELOLAND news showed how the stress has taken a toll on one family. Amber Dykshorn’s family has a farm near Platte, and just over a week and a half ago, her husband Chris took his own life.
“With the wet year and not being able to get the crops in and the financial burden of it, not having corn to feed the livestock, just a lot of components playing into that,” Amber Dykshorn said.
Dykshorn hopes sharing her story will help shed light on the fact that there are resources for farmers and ranchers.
One of those resources being a hotline number to call. The Avera Farm and Rural Stress Hotline was developed just last year as a resource for farmers, ranchers, and their families.
As the sun shines in some parts of KELOLAND today, it offers some growing weather for crops in the fields.
But wet weather earlier this spring took a toll on farmers. It kept many out of the fields and left them dealing with stress.
That’s why Avera offers a stress hotline.
“A few reasons we developed a hotline is because we understand these are men and women that often have a hard time asking for help, and they’re often in small communities where they’re well known and there’s still stigma out there and there’s embarrassment to seek help,” psychiatrist and vice president for Avera behavioral health service line, Dr. Matthew Stanley said.
Dr. Matthew Stanley says the hotline typically gets two to three calls a day.
“We see highs and lows and that’s probably familiar to anybody who is a farmer or rancher, kind of moves like the prices or the weather or the trade talks, all those things seem to move the numbers up and down a little bit,” Stanley said.
And every call is unique.
“We get calls, everything from what do I do with my hay, it’s stuck in the field and it’s wet to I’m depressed, not able to function, I’ve had some thoughts of suicide, we’ve had a real gamut of people reaching out, seeking help,” Stanley said.
When someone calls, they are connected with someone on the assessment team, who will decided the level of care that is needed.
“Do you need to come to the hospital, can you see a local provider if you’re comfortable with that, if you’re not comfortable with that, what other resources are available wherever you may be, and just direct you to the right place,” Stanley said.
A resource that can potentially help save a life.
The hotline is free and confidential. That number is 1-800-691-4336.