Suicide prevention training available in agcultural communities in Minnesota

Published 10:00 pm Friday, October 4, 2019

Farmers and others who work in agriculture are used to helping neighbors, clients, family and friends do chores or make repairs, but they may not know how to help someone having thoughts of suicide.

A free, half-day safeTALK training sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minnesota Department of Health will be offered in six locations around the state this fall to help people build the skills they need to offer that help.

The safeTALK training teaches participants how to recognize someone having thoughts of suicide, how to engage them and how to make sure they get help. This evidence-based training is effective for people as young as 15 years old, according to a press release. Farmers, lenders, mediators, agency staff, clergy, educators, veterinarians, health care and social service providers, agricultural advisors and business people are all invited to attend.

Email newsletter signup

“The impact of suicide goes beyond the individual person or even the immediate family and affects entire communities,” said MDH Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “It’s important for us to raise awareness about suicide and for us to share the fact that suicide is preventable, mental illness is treatable and recovery is possible.”

“Unfortunately, farming communities experience more than their share of suicide,” said MDA Commissioner Thom Petersen. “We want people to know what they can do to help when they see warning signs.”

The trainings run 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and take place on the following dates:

Oct. 10: Northland Community and Technical Community College in Thief River Falls

Oct: 11: Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead

Nov. 20: South Central College in Faribault

Nov. 21: Riverland Community College in Austin

Dec. 3: MERIT Center in Marshall

Dec. 4: Quarry Center in Waite Park

The training is free but pre-registration is required, as enrollment at each session is limited to 30 participants. Register today at

The workshop is supported by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture and under award number 2018-38640-28416 through the North Central Region SARE program, under project number ENC18-170.

Individuals with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event may contact Stephen Moser at 651-201-6012 or through the Minnesota Relay Service at 711 at least one week prior to the session they want to attend.