This week is National Suicide Prevention Week and it’s important to be aware of the moods and actions of friends and family. In a bleak year like 2019, some farmers might believe there is no way out—know the warning signs of suicide to hopefully help prevent a tragedy.
“Farmers are some of the best caregivers in the world,” said Adrienne Desutter, farm wife, mom and specialist in behavioral health, to U.S. Farm Report Host Tyne Morgan. “They care for crops, they care for land and they care for animals, but they’re not always the best caregivers of themselves.”
It can be hard for farmers to reach out for help.
“Do not ignore signs of distress of suicide from your friends, family members or neighbors,” said Glennis McClure, University of Nebraska Extension farm and ranch management specialist. “Let them know you are concerned about them.”
Unfortunately, national suicide rates are increasing, and agriculture isn’t immune. According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data, 2,704 people who work in agriculture die by suicide each year.
Someone might be considering suicide if he/she:
- Talks about wanting to die
- Talks about feeling hopeless, trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talks about being a burden to others
- Increases the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acts anxious, agitated or recklessly
- Sleeps too little or too much
- Withdraws or feels isolated
- Shows rage or talks about seeking revenge
- Displays extreme mood swings
For more on mental health, read: