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Bob Larson Farm Suicide Bill Signed
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: March 20, 2018

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I’m Bob Larson. A bill aimed at the excessive rate of suicides among farmers and others in the farming industry was signed into law by Governor Inslee last week.

Yelm Representative J.T. Wilcox sponsored the bill after he says his eyes were opened by and article he read in a national publication …

WILCOX : “This article pointed out that among all occupational groups, not only in the United States, but worldwide, farmers had the leading rate of suicide. I had no idea. This has not touched me or my family.”

Wilcox says the bill takes into account several factors including behavioral health and suicide rates of people in the ag industry, components for inclusion in a behavioral health and a suicide prevention pilot program, and opportunities to improve the behavioral health status of ag workers, and reduce the risk of suicide …

WILCOX : “What you have in the farming world are people that are deeply committed, they are generational. But it is super high stress. And you have the unusual weight of generations on your shoulders. It also has a high rate of failure.”

The 2nd District Republican proposed the first of its kind bill to help farmers and farm workers cope with the stresses of producers …

WILCOX : “They are people that perhaps have a tradition of not asking for a lot of help.”

Wilcox says the suicide rate among workers in farming, fishing and forestry is five times greater than that of the general population.

House Bill 2671 was unanimously approved in both the House and Senate and goes into effect later this year.

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