Look Out For Each Other

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide Prevention Coalition of Iowa County founder and outreach coordinator Susan Springer references 820 suicides in 2020 as reported by the Department of Health Services.

For every one of those 820 suicides, there were 25 attempts, she says. And farmers are not immune to mental health crises that result in depression and suicide.

Springer says this time of year — harvest and fieldwork — leaves farmers with little sleep and a lot of stress. Farmers also deal with a lot of chemicals that can have side effects, including depression, that can lead to suicide. Physical injuries can also lead to mental illness — head injuries and trauma from getting in and out of machinery and not getting looked at by a doctor can lead to depression symptoms.

She adds mold exposure and Lyme’s disease to the list of physical exposure that can cause depression that leads to suicide.

If you are struggling, ask for help. If you a friend seeing someone struggle, don’t be afraid to say something, Springer emphasizes.

In addition, isolation during the pandemic has led to a rise in suicides, she says. But call volumes are down. Springer works with the Journey Mental Health Crisis Mobile Unit. An increase in suicides but not call volumes are indicating that people are not reaching out for help before attempting suicide.

Mental health crisis or suicide response trainings (QPR trainings) are taking place near you this month and in the future. If you’re interested, contact Suicide Prevention Coalition of Iowa County. They will connect you to upcoming events in your area. Find them on Facebook. Email: [email protected] Website: https://www.suicide-iowacountywi.org/

Camp HOPE is a free weekend camp for grieving children, teenagers & their families Oct. 9-10 at the Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rosholt. Registration deadline is Saturday, Sept. 18. Visit camphopeforkids.org or call (715) 341-0076.