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Serving: IL
Adrienne DeSutter at podium
HEALTHY: “More than just statistics, these are people we know. Any loss, any amount of stress, bleeds out to the community,” says Adrienne DeSutter.

Depression: What to look for

Illinois farm wife and behavioral health consultant Adrienne DeSutter says farmers can help each other by paying attention to each other.

What’s the best thing one farmer can do for another? Pay attention. Notice if someone’s behavior has changed. And don’t ignore your gut if it tells you to be concerned — because the people who need help the most are often the least likely to reach out.

“The last thing we want to do is wait until a funeral or visitation to think about what we could have done,” says Adrienne DeSutter, a behavioral health consultant who is married to Woodhull, Ill., farmer Drew DeSutter.

Here’s what to look for:

  • changes in a person’s typical behavior
  • eating or sleeping habits that change
  • decline in care of self, or farm, or livestock
  • sudden weight loss or gain
  • feeling trapped, hopeless or worthless
  • feeling like a burden
  • expressing unbearable pain
  • aggression or irritability
  • fatigue
  • withdrawal or isolation from friends and family
  • saying goodbye or giving away prized possessions

Here’s how to talk to them:

  • Point out things you’ve noticed. (“Haven’t seen you at church/card club/coffee.”)
  • Just want to see if everything’s OK.
  • Make sure you’re genuine; show empathy.
  • Listen to hear, don’t listen to respond.
  • Validate their concerns.
  • Provide resources.


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