Content Warning: The following article contains information about suicide and might be sensitive to some readers. If you are thinking about suicide or are concerned about someone else, call, text, or chat with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 988.
Within the past 30 years, the suicide epidemic amongst individuals in the agriculture industry has increased. In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that individuals in the agriculture industry are one and a half times more likely to die by suicide than in other occupations. Other groups that have an increased risk of death by suicide include individuals in mining, oil, gas extraction, and construction occupations. The agriculture sector has many stressors, including poverty, loss of farmland, economic vulnerability to increasing extreme weather events, and lack of support and resources for members of the community.
The Arizona Department of Agriculture provides training, grants, and other food and crop-related resources for farmers throughout the state. Still, it lacks information about mental health resources for a critical community that needs mental health services. As a healthcare provider, taking a QPR Certification course can save community members in these vulnerable populations. Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) is a simple approach for intervention and encourages conversations surrounding mental health to change the culture and stigma to address and end the suicide epidemic. Free QPR and mental health training focusing on individuals in Agriculture communities are available through AgriSafe, an agricultural network dedicated to promoting health and safety for farmers, operators, and agriculture workers.