RED OAK, Iowa During Suicide Awareness Month, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, released a new ad with Iowan Jill Vrieze, whose brother Troy Sand tragically took his own life. Sand was an Iowa farmer, a profession that suffers from one of the highest suicide rates. The ad describes Ernst’s bipartisan work to successfully deliver critical mental health services for Iowa farmers, to help combat the tragic trend of increased suicides.
Between 1992 and 2010, farmers and agricultural workers had the highest suicide rate among all occupations. In 2018, Ernst partnered with U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. in successfully getting their bill signed into law to expand mental health services for farmers.
My brother farmed with my dad. He was the best thing in the world, you know.
My brother had lots of bouts with depression.
I don’t know if he was scared to ask for help.
I think people need to learn to break the silence.
If it wasn’t for Joni Ernst increasing our telehealth and mental health services, we wouldn’t have the support we need.
I think it’s going to save a lot of lives.