Fr. Ed Anderson

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald Staff

Concerned by the increasing number of suicides in the area, particularly among farmers, Fr. Ed Anderson wanted to offer an ecumenical presentation to raise awareness and offer resources.

Fr. Anderson is the pastor of a four-parish cluster, which includes parishes in Rice Lake, Dobie, Haugen and Birchwood. The churches are in a heavily agricultural region.

St. Joseph, Rice Lake, will host a suicide prevention presentation by the Barron County Health and Human Services Department Monday, Sept. 23 from 6:30-8 p.m. at St. Joseph Church in Rice Lake.

Fr. Anderson said several people have shared “their ordeal with suicide in their families.”

Speaking of farmers, the pastor said, “The amount of money needed to make it in farming, the long hours, the stress and uncertainty that comes with farming is having a very negative impact on these men.”

The Barron County program – QPR, which stands for question, persuade and refer – is something Fr. Anderson had read about in other local publications.

This three-pronged approach is considered “CPR for suicide.” Question a person about suicide. Persuade them to get help. Refer them to the appropriate resources.

Learning this approach can help someone to recognize the warning signs and symptoms, clues and suicidal communications of persons at risk and build skills to positively influence the outcome, helping to prevent a possible tragedy.

The presentation, estimated to last 90 minutes, will provide attendees with tools, information about other resources and follow-up.

RSVPs are needed for participant materials. Contact Becky Tollers, 715-537-6173 or .