According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide remains a significant public health concern and is among the top ten causes of death nationwide. Suicide rates in rural areas are higher than in urban settings and that gap has steadily increased over the past ten years. In addition, farmers have been identified as a high-risk population, with suicide rates consistently above those of the general population. Farm work includes many factors that are also related to suicide risk, including economic volatility, social isolation, and managing chronic pain.
In winter 2018, I-CASH distributed information about QPR training, an evidence-based suicide prevention program that empowers community members, bystanders, co-workers, and loved ones to intervene and help prevent suicide. Suicide is a difficult topic to talk about, but experts note that talking about suicide is an important part of prevention. In addition, Mental Health First Aid training is a program that helps bystanders identify and respond to signs of mental illness.
Suicide prevention specialists and mental health care providers talk about suicide prevention in rural Iowa:
Iowa Resources for Suicide Prevention and Support:
CommUnity Crisis Services
855-325-4296 (Call or Text)
Your Life Iowa
Mental Health First Aid is another evidence-based training that helps community members identify and respond to signs of mental illness. Click Here to find a Mental Health First Aid training near you.
Talk Saves Lives presentation from the Iowa Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Contact Ryan Nesbit at email@example.com or (641)990-4957 to have a Talk Saves Lives presentation in your community.
Iowa Suicide Bereavement Support statewide resources
Additional Information about Farmers, Rural Communities, and Suicide:
Help Farmers Cope With Stress, Iowa State Extension
Why are America’s Farmers Killing Themselves, The Guardian
Related Safety Watch Article:
‘Fall Feel Good’ connects farmers with help, Brandi Janssen, December 2022