Suicide Prevention in Farmers & Ranchers

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.  According to the CDC, suicide rates for farmers are five times higher than the general population.  Although suicide rates have risen in the last 10 years, ” studies have found community support can decrease stress, depression, and suicide,” according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension publication.

While the risk of a friend committing suicide may seem relatively low, it’s estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of people in the U.S. think about suicide at some time in their lives. In other words, one or two of your 10 closest friends may consider suicide at some point. The negative  thoughts associated with stress and depression can be changed however, and people do get better.

If someone talks of suicide, makes comments hinting at suicide, suggests that people would be better off without him/her, or exhibits other warning signs, ask that person if they are considering suicide. Asking a person if they are contemplating suicide has not been shown to cause the person to consider suicide if they weren’t already. If someone is already considering suicide, asking them about it has not been shown to make the person more likely to make an attempt.

People struggling with stress, depression, or suicidal thoughts may think their feelings are too much of a burden to place on someone else. When you ask directly about their mental health and intentions, you are telling them it is not too much and that you care about them.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends the following guidelines to help someone who may be thinking about committing suicide:
• Ask them if they are thinking about killing themselves.
• Listen without judging and show you care.
• Stay with the person (or make sure the person is in a private, secure place with another caring person) until you can get further help.
• Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
• Call SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and follow their guidance.
• If danger for self-harm seems imminent, call 911.

Preventing Farmer Suicides Rebekka Dudensing, Samuel D. Towne, Jr., and Carly E. McCord*

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#PTSD Awareness Day June 27

June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day.  PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 

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Mental Health Awareness #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  We would like to highlight not only the prevalence of mental illness, but methods to assess your mental health and get support for mental illness.

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Stress in Farmers and Ranchers #StressAwarenessMonth

It is no secret that farming and ranching is a stressful occupation.  With April being National Stress Awareness Month, we would like to bring awareness to stress in farming and ranching, how it impacts the farm and family, and how to get help.

Farmers and ranchers dedicate most of their time to caring for the well-being of their land, crops, and livestock.  Unfortunately they do not devote the same care to their own physical and mental health.

Farmers, fisherman, and forestry workers have the highest suicide rate of any occupation at 85 per 100,000 individuals each year, in a 2016 study by the Center for Disease Control.  With suicide rates at an all time high in the farming and ranching industry, it is imperative that the farming and ranching community make mental health a priority.

Farmers carry the burden of financial stress, herd health and disease, crop losses, budgeting, climate change, government policy, and long hours just to name a few.  Farmers are also reluctant to seek help, which makes treating mental health in farmers and ranchers more difficult.  There are a few key signs to look for in an over-stressed individual.

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PTSD and the Disabilities of the Post 9/11 War Veteran

The National AgrAbility Project hosted a webinar with Captain Guy Zierk, Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment on December 2, 2015.

This session will begin by dispelling the myths and defining PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other injuries associated with war. Participants will then learn how to navigate the VA (Veteran Administration) and learn how they can help veterans to transition into farming.

Source: National AgrAbility Virtual Training Workshop 2015

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What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

PTSD is a very common disorder that many people suffer from every day.

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