Justin Wenzel says he was touched three times in his life by people who died of suicide. So the theme carved into his corn maze is “Your life is important”.
Richland, Michigan — National Suicide Prevention Week begins on Sunday.
In Michigan, about 1,300 people committed suicide in 2020. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in our state, and teens and people aged 25-44 have higher suicide rates than in other states.
That’s why Richland farmers decided to show their support for suicide prevention by creating a maze of corn with a powerful message theme.
Justin Wenzel, Manager of Garmedo Farm, said: “This year I wanted to focus on the cause and mission.”
In early July, Wenzel began designing a method of growing corn, placing the phrase “your life is important” and the suicide prevention hotline (1-800-273-TALK) embedded in the maze.
For Wenzel, it’s personal.
“My sister-in-law’s brother felt he had no choice but to leave the world,” he said. “I was touched by people who decided to do it myself three times in my life.”
The maze is not only a message, but also a powerful metaphor.
“Like life, you’ll go out into a maze and get lost, but what do you know. If you continue, you’ll find an escape route,” Wenzel said. “We all sometimes feel hopeless and helpless.
“Always remember, not everyone understands everything.”
Corn maze Garmedo Farm It will be open to the public on Saturday, September 11th. After that, it will be open all day until the end of October on weekday nights and Saturdays and Sundays.
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‘THERE’S ALWAYS A WAY OUT’: Michigan Maze Message Supports Suicide Prevention
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