Mona Lee Brock went into the office early that morning, as she always did, when she received a panicked phone call. The telephones in the crisis center were lighting up all over the place, as was common. This particular call was from a farmer’s wife. A day prior, the farmer had spoken to Brock and agreed not to hurt himself, but now his wife couldn’t find him. And she was afraid. Brock asked where the farmer kept his .410 shotgun.
It was the height of the ’80s farm crisis, one of the greatest economic turmoils since the Great Depression. Drought and defaulted loans left hundreds of thousands of farmers broke. Many farmers became homeless or worse yet, turned to suicide.
Brock visited their home later that morning. The farmer’s wife stayed inside the house while Brock went to investigate where her husband might be. She found him in the driveway, at the left rear wheel of his truck. He had already shot himself in the head.
“It just leaves you speechless,” Brock says, “You just forget to breathe, you forget to live.”