A Wisconsin farm that chooses a theme for its corn maze each year decided to focus on the theme of suicide prevention and mental health.
The farm, Govin’s Farm in Menomonie, carved the message “your life matters” into the cornfields along with the phone number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
“We have always picked a theme that has meaning to our family and this year suicide was something we unfortunately had to face and learn about,” said the family’s statement on the farm’s Facebook page. “We hope to make a difference in someone’s life and help them understand that they matter!”
John and Julie Govin said they conjured up the idea after they lost a family member to suicide in January.
“The idea immediately popped into our heads. In fact, it was on the way to the funeral that the idea popped into our heads that maybe we could do a suicide prevention maze,” John Govin told CNN.
John said the family chooses a design for the maze each year, especially because the maze is one the biggest attractions at the farm and produces the most income for the family.
Previous maze designs have gone from promoting the Green Bay Packers to tackling Alzheimer’s awareness.
The maze does not open until September 21, but the family has already gotten a positive response to the design.
“My wife was at work yesterday, and she said she couldn’t get anything done because she works for a large employer and she says people were constantly coming into her office to thank her or to relate a story that they have,” John said. “It’s truly remarkable.”
The family plans to donate some of the profits raised from the maze to local suicide groups.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention notes that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death each year. In 2017, more than 47,000 people committed suicide, according to the foundation.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the national suicide hotline number at 1-800-273-8255.