A new online group is being formed to help support Minnesota farmers and farm families who have lost loved ones who died by suicide. The support group will meet the third Monday of each month from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. CST. The first meeting will be Aug. 17.
Monica McConkey, Minnesota Rural Mental Health specialist, will be leading the group. McConkey says the grief group came about after a suicide loss survivor reached out to her.
“There are other suicide loss bereavement support groups out there, but none specifically for farmers and ranchers,” McConkey says. “We know that suicides among this population are high and the families are left with unique situations to sort through and make decisions about.”
The support group will provide survivors with a confidential, nonjudgmental and comfortable space to express themselves. The group also will provide them with support among other farm family members who understand the loss journey caused by suicide.
Meetings will take place via a secured Zoom link that requires registration. Attendees must register to attend. Efforts will be in place to protect the privacy and confidentiality of group members.
“During the group meeting, it is each individual’s choice if and how much they would like to share,” she adds. “Grief and the stories surrounding the suicide death are extremely emotional. We want to be sure that members of this group feel protected in their sharing.”
The online meeting is open to Minnesota farming and ranching adults who have lost loved ones to suicide. Group ground rules will be set up during the first online meeting. If there are adolescents interested, a separate group might be a possibility, McConkey says.
For more information, contact McConkey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-280-7785.
Go online to register for the Zoom online meeting.