Suicides Are Up Among Farmers

It’s a subject that isn’t thought about much outside of the normal urban setting or┬áteenage circles and yet, it has quietly become a major issue, especially among those who are troubled in the rural area.

A study finds suicide rates among farmers are the highest of any occupational group and the numbers have steadily risen since the Farm Crisis of the 1980s. Brandi Janssen, director of Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, says a federal study shows the suicide rates among farmers exceed rates in other high-risk populations, including veterans.

Janssen says most people think the 1980s had the highest rates of farmer suicide. However, using the numbers from the Centers for Disease Control, she found a 50-percent higher rate of suicides today than those tracked by the National Farm Medicine Center several decades ago.

Janssen says there is no single cause for suicide, but it most typically occurs when there are stressors like economic challenges. There are things to watch for in your loved ones.

Janssen says there is more help available now than in the ’80s, and people should not be reluctant to seek it. One place is the Iowa Concern Hotline at 1-800-447-1985.

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