After the Flood: Working to combat growing need for mental health care in rural communities

September 19, 2019

As we inch closer to harvest season in Nebraska, our minds turn to the growers who will most likely spend the next several weeks working extra long hours out in the elements. 


It also stirs up thoughts regarding the ever-growing need for mental health care in rural communities, especially after the devastating impact the flood has continued to have on our state. 


This year was undoubtedly a hard one for Nebraska. Many people lost their homes and ranches that had been in their family for generations.


But, even prior to the flood of 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture noted higher suicide rates in rural areas -- a definite cause for concern. Many factors are possibly at blame, including plunging commodity prices, weather and extraordinarily high tariffs. Not to mention the farming occupation can be a very stressful one in general, as many factors that affect agricultural production are actually beyond the control of the producer. 


However, perhaps one of the biggest concerns is that rural populations often times have limited access to needed mental health care. 


Because of this, Clearwater Counseling, PC, is continually working to fill this need in our state. We currently work with various rural communities, and we are always welcoming new clients. We hope to bring attention to this issue, while also letting those affected know that help is absolutely available. 


It's critical that providers are educated on physical and behavioral health vulnerabilities in agricultural populations. Our providers came from a farming background, and therefore understand the complicated dynamic of the community. 


If you know someone who is currently struggling with their mental health, please reach out to us at 308-210-8487 or [email protected] 


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