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Suicide Rate Higher Among American Farmers Than Any Other Job

Suicide Rate Higher Among American Farmers Than Any Other Job
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By    |   Tuesday, 26 June 2018 10:24 AM

Farmers are dying by suicide at a rate more than five times higher than the population as a whole, CBS News reported.

"We're hearing from farmers on our hotline that farmer stress is extremely high. Every time there's uncertainty around issues around the farm economy is another day of phones ringing off the hook," said Jennifer Fahy, communications director at Farm Aid.

"Farmer stress right now is extremely high, the farm economy is very precarious and not predicted to improve in the near future," Fahy said, adding that "when there are steps in place to address the root cause, which is usually financial and legal, the stress becomes manageable."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rate in the field of farming, fishing, and forestry is 84.5 per 100,000 people, and that number is higher than in any other occupational group.

Suicide rates are on the rise nationwide with rates going up 30 percent in half of U.S. states since 1999, a CDC report noted.

Finances are a primary reason, with farm income dropping steadily since 2013. Department of Agriculture figures show that this year's farm income is projected at 35 percent lower than 2013 levels, CBS reported.

Healthcare, both physical and mental, can be critical to farmers, especially in rural areas where such care can be scarce. Fahy said that publicly funded programs that were created in the 1980s have been cut back.

The CDC study looked at workers in 17 different states, but left out some major agricultural areas such as Iowa, and included small numbers of fishing and forestry industry workers. The study mirrors other recent CDC findings that show suicide rates highest, and rising faster, in rural areas, the CBS report said.

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Farmers are dying by suicide at a rate more than five times higher than the population as a whole.
farmers, suicide, rate, hike
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2018-24-26
Tuesday, 26 June 2018 10:24 AM
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