PSA raises awareness about farmers and mental health
The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Iowa Co. posted a public service announcement on Facebook Wednesday addressing farming and mental health.
The founder of the coalition, Susan Springer Judd, said the goal is to help people in rural counties learn what resources are available for help.
The Facebook post has more than 17-thousand views and more around 400 shares. Springer Judd said all of the actors in the video are volunteers.
The couple shown in the video, Phil and Julie Henneman, said they have a personal connection to the cause.
“We lost our oldest son to suicide who had taken over our farm,” Phil Henneman said.
The couple said every day is a battle, but their mission now is to try and help others.
“The stigma for the men was you know suck it up, that’s the way it is. You didn’t let your feelings out, and we need to get our feelings out,” Henneman said.
He said a heavy burden rests on farmers’ shoulders.
“You are always by yourself. You are driving the tractor by yourself and you are thinking about the milk prices and the corn prices,” he said.
Springer Judd said PSAs have been an effective way to reach out, and that last year they raised enough money to do two about where to access resources in the county.
“I lost my brother to suicide in 2012, and then I started the coalition in 2014. We did a PSA last year and just saw how quickly everybody saw it, and we had a lot of feedback,” Springer Judd said.
Henneman said the pain of losing their son never goes away, but there is comfort in sharing their story knowing it is helping others.
“We have to get that out there that everybody has a low point, and if they need help they can reach out,” he said.
The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Iowa County
has a list of resources on where to get help and more.