Health reporter Jayne O’Donnell interviews Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. USA TODAY
A Wisconsin farm is looking to make a difference with its annual corn maze.
John Govin, who owns Govin’s Meats and Berries with his wife, Julie, said he was determined to make an impact this year with the maze’s theme. The maze includes the message, “Your life matters” and the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-TALK).
Govin, 55, said a member of his family died by suicide in January.
Wisconsin-based WQOW-TV, which also shared a video with an overhead view of the maze, reported the maze is 11 acres.
“We came up with the idea in January, but we thought about it for a long, long time because it’s a pretty bold statement,” Govin told USA TODAY. “Those of us who operate farm festivals and do corn mazes, it’s supposed to be a fun time of year. Everyone said, ‘If it’s important to you, go ahead and do it.'”
Govin and his wife have owned the farm for 30 years, he said. The maze opens Sept. 21.
“As a society and a culture, we’ve got to talk about this,” Govin said. “Every person alive is the most important person in the world to somebody else. It just matters so much. I can’t repeat enough that everybody’s life matters.”
Govin has done a corn maze with some kind of theme for the last 11 years. Over the years, there have been themes for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, Alzheimer’s disease, the Boy Scouts of America and Garth Brooks — to name a few.
She worked in suicide prevention: Then one day she had to save herself.
Govin’s Meats and Berries posted a picture of the maze, designed by Utah-based The MAiZE, to its Facebook page. The photo has been shared more than 1,300 times.
“The response has blown us away,’ Govin said. “Imagine a single picture that has gone viral. We wanted to do this to have an impact and the impact that we’ve already had from one picture has just been amazing.”
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/01/wisconsin-farm-suicide-prevention-message-corn-maze/1894945001/