Unite & Fight Together

Sep 11, 2020
Megan Hasenour | Marketing Communications Manager

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week and September is National Suicide Prevention month.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

There’s more that we all can do, and it starts with talking openly and honestly about the issue and creating a culture of compassion.
According to the National Farmers Union, the net farm income dropped 50% since 2013, and has remained depressed ever since. These conditions force many family farmers to make tough financial decisions that will impact their families, communities and the entire country.
Many times, farmers are very independent and when issues of mental health arise, all they know is to just deal with it by themselves. It’s important to raise awareness to say, “It’s OK to talk about it”, suggested Sue Springer Judd who runs one of the Suicide Prevention Coalitions in Wisconsin.
Phil Henneman lost his son at the age of 29 to suicide. It is believed that his son took his own life because of a fetal intestinal infection outbreak on his dairy farm. Phil said in an interview with Ag Web, “No matter how dark of a day it is, there is always light someplace, and you can continue on.” Phil provides training sessions for a Farmer Suicide prevention project, “If anyone says they are suicidal, ask them open-ended questions and let them talk.”
Just remember, when times are tough, there are people and resources to help.
Sometimes, farmers feel they are alone. And although it may seem that way, there are resources out there to help. Farm Aid has an online directory that contains more than 750 organizations that work directly with farmers nationwide on a variety of opportunities. Here is the site that includes the online directory: https://www.farmaid.org/our-work/resources-for-farmers/farmer-resource-network/

Here’s the thing:

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, managing mental health conditions is just as important as managing another type of health condition. If you or someone you love struggles with a mental health condition, early detection and adequate treatment are key to reducing suicide risk.

Here are 7 ways we can take care of our mental health:

  • Therapy
  • Medication
  • Exercise
  • Getting solid sleep
  • Making strategic lifestyle changes
  • Staying connected to others
  • Taking care of overall health
There are many suicide prevention walks going on Nationwide. Walkers walk to fight suicide. They walk to make a difference. They walk because together they can change the conversation about mental health and put a stop to the tragic loss of a life. If you would like to find a walk near you, visit: https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.eventList&eventGroupID=9AA117B3-F522-BB6D-359D1AA2D75A7958&eventID=5544
Here is the link that includes information for the Suicide Prevention Walk in Gibson County, IN on October 4th: https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=6759

No one should ever feel alone.

We must unite and fight together.
We don’t have to understand the specifics of someone’s journey to show empathy and love.
If you know anyone who may need help, you are urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: