Rural America’s Most Important Resource

Curious Plot is fortunate to work with clients who are passionate about supporting and advancing the food and agriculture industries. The products, services and contributions of our clients help sustain rural America. But there is one precious resource that needs our collective support and focus: rural Americans.

A mental health crisis is happening right now in small towns and farm communities across the nation. People who live in rural areas face a unique set of challenges when it comes to accessing mental health care, such as access to mental health professionals and lack of resources and funding for services. Suicide rates among people living in rural areas are 64% to 68% higher compared to people living in large urban areas, according to a 2022 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the last year and a half, Curious Plot has partnered with Rural Minds, an organization focused on serving as the informed voice for mental health in rural America. Curious Plot has worked with Rural Minds to further develop its marketing communications strategy, and now I’m proud to serve on its advisory council to help enhance its outreach and provide helpful resources to individuals and families who need support.

Growing up in a rural community and still being involved with my family’s farm operation, I am familiar with the pressures and challenges of running a small business. I am also aware of the stigma associated with mental health issues and the challenges of finding help. Rural Minds provides a forum for people to share their experiences and is collaborating with individuals and organizations to improve rural mental health.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. If you are experiencing issues or providing support to someone in a mental health crisis, I encourage you to explore resources from Rural Minds to try to find the help you need. You are not alone in this.

Here are some ways to get started:

Jim Zumwalt serves on the Rural Minds Partnership Council to help advise and steer outreach initiatives as well as amplify the organization’s messages and services.