“It’s kind of similar to being CPR trained, anyone can benefit,” says Meggie Foster, one of the AgrIInstitute Ag Leadership Program Class 18 members who is organizing the Healing the Heartland suicide prevention meeting online at the end of this month.
Suicide is among the leading causes of death in the United States. It can tear up any rural community, but it can be preventable. Jennifer Brandt of the American Veterinary Medical Association and a native Hoosier is the day’s featured speaker offering attendees knowledge and tools to help.
“She is a QPR gatekeeper and is professionally trained in this area,” Foster told HAT. “She also has a background in social services. We’re excited to bring in her to focus on the scope of the problem, including some data points on suicide in the United States, some research on what causes people to consider suicide, and then diving into some risk factors and how to spot them. And how to help, what are the warning signs?”
Foster says people will leave the 2 ½ hour training program with tools that make them more equipped to know the warning signs of suicide.
She adds anyone can learn from the program’s material, “but our focus is on rural Indiana and agriculture and those who serve those areas. So, when I think about that I think about folks who are out working with farmers every day, or family members of farmers and those who work for rural agribusiness.”
The Zoom online event starts at 9 a.m. September 29th with a welcome from Bruce Kettler of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and then Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H., Secretary, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration with an update on the Be Well Indiana program launched this year by the Indiana Div. Mental Health and Addiction.
There is a nominal $20 registration fee and you can register here.
The Healing the Heartland symposium is being planned and coordinated by ALP Class 18 members who include: Meggie Foster, CountryMark; Jackie Barber, Elanco; Somula Schwoeppe, Feeding America and Schwoeppe Dairy; Sarah Wagler, Nutrient Management Partners; Jeff Cummins, Indiana Farm Bureau and Kyle Shipman, Indiana Board of Animal Health, in coordination with AgrIInstitute.