Heartland Clergy Train to Prevent Agriculture Workers’ Suicides
LAKE BENTON, Minn. (AP) — Factors largely outside of farmers’ control – from the increasingly unpredictable weather to growing costs of everything from fuel to loans – make the threat of losing the beloved family farm a constant worry.
That’s been affecting mental health and driving an uptick in suicides among agricultural workers.
So heartland states like Minnesota and South Dakota are training rural clergy in suicide prevention, teaching pastors how to start conversations about mental health and how to respond to them.
Dozens of faith leaders are learning to destigmatize seeking help for mental health among particularly self-reliant and proud congregations, so that they can stay healthy and continue to grow the crops and raise the livestock that feed people across the United States and beyond.