23: Rural Roots & Mental Health


23: Rural Roots & Mental Health

by | May 28, 2024 | Farm Family Harmony Podcast

In this episode of the Farm Family Harmony Podcast, Elaine meets with guest Lewellyn Melnyk who shares her personal journey of overcoming mental health struggles while growing up on a farm in Manitoba. Her book, “Rooted: How I Stay Small Town Strong When Life Gets Hard, and How You Can Too,” serves as a guide for rural women in agriculture, offering insights and coping mechanisms for navigating life’s challenges. From the importance of connection and vulnerability to the role of music and self-care, Llewellyn emphasizes the need for open conversations and prioritizing mental wellness in farming communities. Through her own experiences and those of others, she highlights the power of resilience and the value of seeking support. Join the conversation as Llewellyn discusses the significance of understanding one’s values, setting boundaries, and taking small steps toward better mental health.

“I think as farmers and people working in the ag industry, we are very susceptible to mental health challenges in the circumstances that we live in and work in. And so it’s very, very important that we have boundaries and make those boundaries for ourselves and stick by them.”


[0:49] Lewellen emphasizes her motivation behind writing her book and what she wants listeners to discover.

[4:12] Discusses supporting new mothers from Postpartum depression to hormonal changes.

[7:53] Explores emotional connection, vulnerability, and the prevalence of loneliness in rural communities.

[16:36] Emphasizes the importance of self-care, setting boundaries, and putting your mental health first.

[19:09] Touches on discovering signs of loneliness and the significance of checking on others.

[22:32] Discusses setting boundaries and prioritizing well-being for farmers.

Lewellyn Melnyk: Author, Farmer, and Mental Health Advocate

Lewellyn’s new book “Rooted” is a prescriptive memoir that tells the story of her own struggles with anxiety and depression and offers tips on how to stay small-town strong when things get tough. Mental health is one of the biggest threats to rural communities, and Lewellyn has made it her life’s work to start more discussions around this topic, advocating for agriculture, women, and mental health. Visit https://www.lewellynmelnyk.com/ to learn more.

For mental health resources, visit:

For Elaine’s standard resources, visit:

I hope you found this episode on Rural Roots & Mental Health as insightful as we did! Share your thoughts in the comments below—we’re all ears! Your experiences and perspectives are what make this community thrive. Let’s keep the conversation going!

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