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Rooted cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-916606-6
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 198 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-916607-3
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 198 pages
  • Keywords
    • Mental health in agriculture,
    • Farming,
    • Country music,
    • Rural mental health,
    • Mental health memoir,
    • Small town Canada,
    • Rural health

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How I Stay Small Town Strong When Life Gets Hard and How You Can Too: A Guide to Finding Joy, Learning from Struggle, and Coming Together One Season at a Time
by Lewellyn Melnyk

Small towns are places where everyone knows each other’s names—and each other’s business, despite it being none of their own. Yet, folks in small towns never seem to want to talk about mental health. Rural living can be isolating with hours spent on the farm caring for the land, animals, the home, and everyone else first before yourself. Women especially know this struggle all too well. Author Lewellyn Melnyk has experienced this her whole life, suffering from depression in her early teens that left her with what felt like only one option: to take her own life. Rooted: How I Stay Small Town Strong When Life Gets Hard and How You Can Too: A Guide to Finding Joy, Learning from Struggle, and Coming Together One Season at a Time is a blend of self-help and memoir to get you through the tough times and show you how to live with compassion and joy while caring for yourself first. Through humour, vivacious attitude, and a soundtrack to match, this guide acknowledges and dispels the myths around rural living and shows that mental injuries are often rooted in the culture of these communities. Whether you live on a farm or in an apartment in the city, you’ll relate to these small town stories, and find these simple strategies achievable so you can improve your mental and physical health. Rooted is for anyone ready to take the next step and get their hands and heart dirty.

Born from the author's own struggles as a young farmer in the northern Great Plains of Canada, Rooted is scrupulously researched and beautifully written. It is the best "self help" book I have ever read because it is the only one I'm aware of that is specifically aimed at the challenges facing farmers and rural residents. The subject is serious but it is also uplifting and hopeful, and it even has a playlist of songs (many of them country songs) that reinforce the words on the page. I wish I'd had this book decades ago, when I and my clients were trying to survive the 1980s farm depression. Buy it; share it; read it, and remember, the farmers are the ones who feed us all. Sarah Vogel Attorney/ Author of The Farmer’s Lawyer/ Former North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture

Lewellyn Melnyk is a journalist by trade and a farmer by choice. She worked as a reporter and anchor at CKX-TV in Brandon, Manitoba until 2007 before focusing on farming alongside her husband and family. Rooted is inspired by her personal challenges with mental health, grief, and the desire to help others love themselves and improve their mental health, Melnyk hopes this book will help others learn to love themselves and improve their mental health. In 2021, she facilitated a mental health program called “Talk. Ask. Listen.” in collaboration with the Do More Agriculture Foundation, a national organization that teaches farmers how to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and get support. Melnyk has a passion for country music and enjoys running, especially on gravel roads. She lives on a grain farm near Angusville, Manitoba, with her husband and two children. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @LewellynMelnyk.


Lewellyn Melnyk

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