A study currently under review by the Centers for Disease Control shows that farming has the highest suicide rate per occupation.
With agriculture being Montana's number one industry, and Montana having the highest suicide rate in the nation, Darla Tyler-McSherry of Ask in Earnest wants to raise awareness and help prevent suicide.
Tyler-McSherry said she believes her dad was born to be a farmer. She said he spent his entire life working the land, caring for animals, providing for his family and providing food for people. In September of 2016, Tyler-McSherry's dad took his life. Now, she wants to help prevent that from happening to others. http://askinearnest.org/aboutus.php
The rural suicide rate is about 45% higher than the urban suicide rate, according to Tyler-McSherry. She said one issue facing farmers is work/life balance. She said they never get away from their work site.
Economics can also play a role.
She said, "It's estimated that farmers are living on the same income as they had 15 years ago. That income has stayed flat, but, of course, as we all know, those expenses haven't stayed the same."
Tyler-McSherry said to help prevent suicide, we can educate ourselves on possible risk factors and warning signs, and then, be willing to have candid and compassionate conversations with our loved ones. By staying with them, we can make a difference and save a life.
Ask in Earnest advocates that farmers and ranchers invest in their self care in four areas: sleep, nutrition, exercise and stress management. For more information, go to http://askinearnest.org/selfcare.php