Monday, March 26, 2018

Talk Saves Lives

Did you know that people working in agriculture are on the list for being the highest risk for suicide?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, people working in agriculture, which includes farmers,farm laborers,ranchers,fishermen and lumber harvesters, take their lives at a higher rate than any other occupation.  I did not realize this until  listening to a presentation at the Arkansas Farm Bureau Women's Leadership conference earlier this month.

Suicide. It's not anything I want to really think about or talk about but it is a reality that I want to understand and learn how to help myself, my family and my friends. Suicide is a health issue. It can be the result of a genetic risk, depression, prolonged stress or a combination of these factors.

It's easy to see why farmers are at high risk for suicide.According to Mike Rosman, an Iowa farmer and psychologist who has dedicated a great part of his life to helping farmers in crisis states," people engaged in farming have a strong urge to supply essentials for human life, such as food and materials for clothing,shelter, fuel and to hang on to their land and other resources needed to produce these goods at all cost. When farmers can't fulfill  this purpose, they feel despair. The drive that makes a farmer successful is the same that increases factors that sometimes lead to suicide."

We never really know how others may be thinking or feeling but if you are aware of changes in how they are talking, behaving or exhibiting increased moodiness, it's time to talk. It's been found that --Talk Saves Lives.

 During these stressful times for those of us involved in agriculture or any other occupation, it's critical to make mental health a priority. Self care strengthens our mental health. Make a point to get exercise,  the proper amount of sleep, consume a healthy diet and manage  stress. When things just don't seem right--see a doctor, get an evaluation, discuss treatment options and find what works best for you.

It's never too late to reach out for help. Talk Saves Lives.

You can find help by  contacting  the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or
use the crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

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