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Thursday, May 28, 2009 CLINTON, MN 1,930 (15) Newspaper (W) 6 Center For Rural Affairs

Report Critical of Mental Health Care in Rural Minnesota Lyons. NE - Rural Minnesotans arc among those not being well served by the nation's rnental health system. A C e n t e r for Rural affair;^' ( C F R A ) study released today indicates that, while rnental illnesses are at least as common in rural settings as they are in urban areas, there are fewer healthcare specialists and too many gaps in insurance coverage. Not only is coverage either unaffordable or unavailable to rural residents, says CFRA spokeswoman Kim Preston, but smalltown dwellers often are reluctant to adrnit they need help for substance abuse or depression. "People don't want to adrnit to it and, when they finally do, the closest practitioner that they have is generally their family doctor, who doesn't necessarily have tliat experience to help them deal with that issue." The report says the rates of major depression and suicide in some rural areas are much higher than in urban ones. Preston explains mental health disorders often are stress-related in rural areas, caused or exacerbated by the economic uncertainties and pressures of farming, natural disasters arid social isolation. She adds that, with higher health i n s u r a n c e p r e m i u m s o r mountiiig medical debts, many families cannot afford the additional cost of rnental health treatment. " I t n e e d s t o b e i n c l u d e d in a l l health insurance plans, just as general medical services are included. Also, there needs to be more service providers available within rural communities." According to the report, more than 85 percent of the federally-designated "meiital health professional shortagc a r e a s " a r e r u r a l . R e a d it o n l i n e Page 1 of 1

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Tri-County News

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Thursday, May 28, 2009 KIMBALL, MN 1,395 (15) Newspaper (W) 5 Center For Rural Affairs

Community Add value with a producer grant Bv Elislra Greelev Smillr. 6e.errterfor ~ u r n~ffairs' i The United States Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for $18 million in ValueAdded Producer Grants to develop value-added agricultural business ventures. July 6, 2009, is the deadline to apply for a Value-Added Producer Grant. Farmers, ranchers or groups of producers with an idea that would add value to products raised on their farms or ranches are eligib1e.A special reserve is set aside for beginning and socially-disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The deadline to apply for reserved funds is June 22. These grants are popular and competitive and the application process can be complicated, but fortunately, help is available. The Center for Rural Affairs is operating a Farm Bill Helpline where producers can call in and receive assistance in accessing programs like the Value-AddedProducer Grant.

l~lcreasingthe value of a raw agricultural product between harvest and sale of the final product typically includes processing in some way such as cleaning, cutting, labeling, smoking, drying, freezing, or preserving. Marketing unique and high-quality food products also adds value to farm and ranch products. Many consumers are willing to pay a premium for locally produced, high-quality, natural or organic farm-raised products. Through our helpline, you will speak to a real person who is knowledgeable about the program. Producers can call (402) 687-2100 and ask for the Farm Bill Helpline. For further information on these grants and how to apply, contact Mike Heavrin, <mikeh@cfra.orp, (402) 687-2103, ext. 1008, or visit: < vadg.htm>. For more information: <www. cfra.o r e . u

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