COLUMBUS—State Senator Bob Peterson
(R-Washington Court House) is taking the opportunity on Ohio Suicide Prevention Day (Tuesday, September 10) to help raise awareness for farmers who are experiencing depression, extreme stress and other pressing mental health concerns.
"The harsh reality is that the suicide rate among farmers is more than twice that of the general population, and it continues to be a growing concern for the agricultural community," said Senator Peterson, who cosponsored the bill establishing Ohio Suicide Prevention Day. "As an eighth generation farmer, I know how hopeless things can seem when dealing with any number of factors that are out of our control, especially during an extremely difficult weather year. I also know how important it is to look out for one another and ensure everyone knows they have a place to turn, even when life feels isolating or hopeless."
Last week, Director Dorothy Pelanda from the Ohio Department of Agriculture held a press conference to kick-off the new #gotyourback Campaign
, a collaborative effort to share resources and provide support for farmers' mental well-being.
The newly launched website connects those seeking help with important resources tailored to different types of individuals, with programs including:
- Man Therapy
- Cultivating Resiliency for Women in Agriculture
- Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Boards
"I strongly encourage everyone to help spread the word about this new initiative to help our fellow farmers who may be struggling. It is important for our entire community to help make sure everyone knows they have resources and a direction to turn other than taking their own life," added Peterson.
If you are in a crisis situation, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the keyword ‘4hope’ to 741 741 to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor with this free, confidential service.
For more information on the #gotyourback Campaign, visit their website at https://agri.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/oda/gotyourback
or contact Senator Peterson's office at (614) 466-8156 or Peterson@OhioSenate.gov