NAMI Minnesota and UMASH are partnered to provide suicide prevention classes to agricultural communities.
The goals of this project aimed to change the public perception around stress and mental health in agricultural communities and better equip the community to identify and help people who may be having thoughts of suicide.
As part of the project, NAMI Minnesota offered “QPR” (Question, Persuade, Refer) classes. QPR is a 1-hour, evidence-based curriculum that teaches three strategies that anyone can use to help prevent a suicide. NAMI has adapted the “QPR” curriculum to be specific for agricultural communities and trained local leaders from agricultural communities to facilitate the programs.
Another aspect of the project engaged a number of farmers and families willing to share their story of living with anxiety, depression or being a suicide loss survivor. Research shows that hearing personal stories is the most effective method for changing attitudes and reducing stigma. NAMI Minnesota is exploring partnerships and outlets that might share these powerful stories.
As of February, the Farmer’s QPR program has reached over 320 individuals throughout Minnesota. Participants have demonstrated increased confidence with asking questions, looking for warning signs, and sharing resources related to suicide prevention.
NAMI built partnerships with various organizations, including the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the University of Minnesota Extension, and local hospitals and clinics. Personal stories from the Farmer’s QPR program will be shared via the Telling the Story Project, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) programs, and through agricultural suicide prevention programs created by the Minnesota Department of Health.