Suicide is a major problem among farmers. The agriculture industry has the fourth-highest rate in the country, according to a January 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study

The following signs and symptoms may indicate someone is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Something to look out for is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.

Risk factors and warning signs

If a person talks about:

  • Killing themselves
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Having no reason to live
  • Being a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped
  • Unbearable pain

Behaviors that may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss or change:

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Aggression
  • Fatigue

People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of interest
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation/Shame
  • Agitation/Anger
  • Relief/Sudden Improvement

National Resources

  • Call 911 if someone is in immediate danger of harming themselves or others.
  • Farm and Rural Stress Hotline
  • Suicide Prevention Services of America
    • (630) 482-9696
    • or 1-800-273-8255
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    • 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    • or Chat Online
  • MHAH Information & Referral
    • 913-281-2221
    • Open Monday-Thursday from 8:30am-4:30pm
  • MHAH Compassionate Ear Warmline
    • 1-866-WARM-EAR (1-866-927-6327)
    • Open daily from 4pm-10pm
  • Farm Aid Hotline
    • 800-FARM-AID (327-6243)
    • Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Eastern
  • American Farm Bureau – Farm State of Mind

Create and refer to a safety plan.

  • If you or someone you love is struggling with their mental health, consider making a safety plan using the template provided here. Having a plan in place can help people stay safe during a crisis.
  • Find the template here.

Statewide Resources



  • Rural Services of Indiana, Inc.:
    • 574-299-9460







North Dakota

  • Mental Health America of North Dakota
    • (701) 255-3692
  • North Dakota Mediation Service
    • (844) 642-4567 or (701) 328-4567
  • North Dakota Farm Management Education
    • (701) 328-3179
  • FirstLink Hotline
    • 2-1-1 or (701) 235-7335

South Dakota



  • Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Farm Center
    • (800) 942-2474
  • Wisconsin Farm Mediation and Arbitration Program
    • (800) 942-2474 or (608) 224-5138
  • Financial Counseling
    • (800) 942-2474 or (608) 224-5049
  • National Farm Medicine Center
    • (800) 662-6900 or (715) 389-4999

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