The Minnesota Departments of Agriculture and Health are partnering to offer free suicide prevention training for faith leaders in rural communities. This April and May, training will be offered to rural congregation leaders of all faiths and denominations.

“Faith is an important cornerstone in the lives of many farm families, but we’ve learned that pastors, priests, and other faith and spiritual leaders often don’t discuss suicide prevention techniques during their religious training,” MDA Commissioner Thom Petersen said in a press release. “With rural suicide rates being 2.5-3 times higher than the national average, teaching these skills to trusted community member like clergy is crucial.”