In rural communities, citizens are close knit. We know our neighbors. We look out for each other. If you see someone in your community struggling, these resources may be the first step in moving in a positive direction.

My fellow community member is struggling with:

Food Insecurity

Food security means access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. One of the things we try to do in agriculture is tell the farm story, and this is a story that needs to be told. Hunger doesn’t discriminate and we have Missouri families in both rural and urban communities that need our help. The Missouri Hunger Atlas estimates that nearly 1 in 5 Missourians go hungry at some point during the year, and that includes children. In fact, Missouri’s rate of childhood hunger is among the highest in the nation.

Prescription Misuse

The opioid crisis in Missouri has reached epidemic proportions. In 2016, there were 908 opioid- or heroin-related deaths in the state; this is 35% increase over 2015. 2.5 people overdosed and died every day last year, compared with 1.8 the year before. One out of every 66 deaths in the state was due to opioid or opiate abuse in 2016—a significant increase from 2015 when one out of every 89 deaths were opioid-related.

In July, the Centers for Disease Control released a county-by-county study that showed that rural communities are struggling with this issue at a rate higher than our urban neighbors.

Mental Health

Adult men are most at risk for suicide. In Missouri, about 380 adult men between the ages of 35 and 60 die by suicide each year. Prolonged anxiety or intense stress, when left unchecked, can wreak havoc on our health and ability to function. Stress and anxiety can affect relationships, the farm and finances, if left untreated. This represents a real loss for Missouri families and communities. Suicide can be prevented.

It means knowing what to do when you or someone you know is going through a difficult time. It means knowing how and where to get help. Help is available. For free, confidential assistance 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline can help you get through an immediate crisis and put you in touch with resources in your community.