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    FarmResponse

    Mental Health

    Last updated on September 28th, 2022 at 01:30 pm

    For the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, dial 988 or use the Live Online Chat.

    If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.

    Mental health is vital to overall Total Farmer Health. Mental health and physical health depend on each other. Productivity in agriculture requires a sound mind and body. When one or both are not functioning fully, your work and business can suffer. Ignoring signs that your farm equipment is not working properly can lead to more expense, down-time, and equipment loss. Ignoring signs that your mental well-being needs a tune up can also result in less time running your production, increased healthcare expense, and may eventually spillover to other parts of your life, including farm workers and those that you work so hard to care and provide for.  

    Many of the factors that affect agricultural production are largely beyond the control of the producer. But one thing you can control is your health decision making. Good health, including mental health, is a key factor that contributes to one’s ability to keep farming. Mental health complications, including for farmers and ranchers, is common. But stigma and privacy concerns associated with mental health issues may mean that many people do not seek out available behavioral health services.

    SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727)

    Get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.


    Mental Health Resources

    Articles

    Courses

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    Podcast Episodes

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    Webinars

    Webinar TitleSummaryLink
    A Look at Stress and Mental Health During COVID-19 and the Impacts to Farmers and Other Sectors (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Hurricane Michael was the worst agriculture disaster in Georgia’s history. The Department of Agriculture partnered with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and the Georgia Department of Public Health to develop outreach and educational materials to support farmer mental health in the state. This work continued during COVID-19. The Georgia Food and Feed Rapid Response Team (GA RRT) and partner agencies created a COVID-19 Food, Agriculture, and Hospitality Stress Workgroup to assess the impacts of stress and mental health across the nation through 2 online surveys. This presentation will cover partnership building, the evolution of farmer crisis resources in Georgia, and the development of outreach initiatives to inform food, agriculture, hospitality workers, and the public about the importance of the ABCs of Compassion Fatigue that includes awareness, balance, and connections.

    Addressing Military Needs in Agriculture (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Veterans have a long history of service to our country through military service and through agriculture. The 2017 USDA report added a new special category of producers: “Producers with Military Service”. This report identified that 370,019 men and women agriculture producers claimed the title of US veteran, with 294,974 of them having spent more than 10 years on their farm. Recently much attention has highlighted veterans’ participation in farming. With this new attention, it is important to understand the unique characteristics and needs of those veterans. Registered nurses will be able address the needs of veteran farmers with a clearer understanding of the veteran experience compounded by the stress of farming and link veteran farmers to importance resources that support and build provider-client relationships and client resilience.

    Aging and Parkinson’s Disease in Agriculture (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Parkinson’s disease impacts over one million people living in the United States. People living in rural areas may not have access to specialists and getting diagnosis may be difficult. Rural health care providers and agricultural professionals need to develop an awareness of this neurodegenerative disorder and understand the effects on agricultural work. Participants will learn about rural specific resources, safety screening for aspects of agricultural work, tips to maximize farmer functioning, and communication strategies with farm families.

    Agriculture and Alcohol Use (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration report that approximately 20.1 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder related to their use of alcohol or illicit drugs. However, little is known about the prevalence of substance use in the ranching and farming community due to stigma and the lack of research in this population. This webinar will focus on the prevalence of substance use in rural areas through the results of health screening efforts in agricultural work settings.

    Assessment of Opioid Misuse Risk Among Farmers in the Clinical Setting (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Prescription opioids are often the first-line therapy to treat chronic and acute pain among farmers. Prescribing opioids to farmer populations that may not seek regular treatment or have access to alternative therapies increases the risk for potential opioid misuse. Properly assessing for these characteristics among other abuse or addiction risk factors, is critical in providing treatment that is both appropriate and effective. The training module will seek to provide insight on misuse risk factors among farmers to better inform healthcare providers on warning signs in this specific cohort.

    Behavioral Health Planning: A Key to Farming in the Era of COVID-19

    COVID-19 adds new uncertainties to farming on top of a five-year or longer economic recession in most sectors of agriculture.  Like climate shifts, tariffs, and disease outbreaks in crops and livestock, COVID-19 is largely beyond the control of agricultural producers.  Importantly however, we can mostly control how we behave.  Agricultural producers will learn how to develop plans for minimizing infections of the virus, set up arrangements for access to necessary inputs such as equipment and repairs, contracts for a labor force and transportation, and where to become knowledgeable about federal and state assistance programs.

    Developing and Implementing a Pilot Agricultural Community Suicide Prevention Program for Farmers and Farm Families

    This presentation describes a pilot community-based suicide prevention program. Eighteen trainers from various farmer-connected groups such as commodity groups, equipment dealers, farm safety trainers, teachers, ministers, and rural health nurses obtained credentials as QPR (Question-Persuade-Refer) trainers. Over 450 persons were trained from these constituent groups in an 8-month period of time using training materials customized for the farming community. Using a Community of Practice framework challenges and successes in establishing mutual engagement, joint enterprise, a shared repertoire, and meaning in practice. Program revisions and the next steps forward are discussed.

    Expert Panel Discussion on Mediation and How It Can Help the Agricultural Community (April 28, 2021)

    Mediation is an option for resolving disputes designed to decrease stress and empower participants. A trained and impartial mediator helps people discuss their dispute by encouraging them to focus on identifying solution options with the goal of them reaching a mutually accepted agreement. Free to low-cost agricultural mediation is available in most states through the USDA Agricultural Mediation Program. Join in on this expert panel discussion on the mediation process and how it can help the agricultural community.

    Farm Theater: A Unique Approach to Health and Safety

    Farm Dinner Theater is an award winning intervention that is changing the actions of farm families for their health and safety. Based on a four year NIOSH research project, Dr. Reed will walk the audience through the development, history, evaluation and evolution of the Farm Dinner Theater. Since the research project ended communities have used the free toolkit to guide them in hosting their own theaters.

    Farm Youth Mental Health: What We Know and How to Help

    Caring for both the physical and emotional health of our next generation is crucial. From adapting to changes to feeling overwhelmed, like adults, children also experience stress and anxiety; however, they may be unsure of what they are feeling and how to respond. During this webinar, we will take a closer look at the status of farm youth mental health. We will recognize causes of stress among youth living in farming and rural communities and highlight the resources available to assist families.

    Invest in Your Health: Cultivating a Healthy Mind (May 26, 2021)

    According to the CDC, rates of depression and anxiety climb significantly during the ages of 12-17. Suicide is the second leading cause of death of youths in the United States. This module opens an introductory discussion of mental health among teens and young adults with guidance from an adult educator. Focus is placed on decreasing stigma, improving mental health literacy, and positive coping skills for teens and young adults. The module showcases a high school agricultural student’s understanding of the agricultural mental health crisis, helping to frame mental health distress to academic and future career success. 

    Learning When To Put the Work Away: Finding Balance for Veteran Farmers

    Often times it is better to hear from someone experiencing the same things, rather than someone telling you they understand what you’re going through. Listen in as Shay Foulk discusses the real challenges and opportunities he has faced as a returning farmer veteran, and how he is learning and living ways to try to shut down. Honest, open, and frank, Shay will discuss topics that may seem uncomfortable to talk about with others in the industry, because they don’t quite understand what that transition is like in today’s environment. If you’re a farmer veteran in agriculture, someone who works with and wants to better understand veterans, or someone simply interested in the challenges and opportunities veterans in agriculture face today, be sure to tune in.

    Mental Health in Farm and Ranch Country: How Communities Can Help!

    In rural communities, the stigma associated with mental distress is hard to confront. Rural agricultural residents pride themselves as hard-working and dedicated to the land. These characteristics are sometimes in direct conflict with asking for help and self-care, leaving those around them at a loss for words and action. This presentation attempts to use the strengths of rural- self-reliance of communities and being a good neighbor- to frame the conversation of mental health and mental distress. Approaches to community assessment, community resources, and effective training programs to help rural residents craft solutions to grow a community network of mental health neighbors will be shared.

    Mental Health Innovations in Agricultural Communities

    This session is a panel presentation that communicates a forward vision addressing disparities in agricultural mental health. The presenters will explore the development of a farmer specific hotline, the efforts of a state department of agriculture, and suggested strategies to address a central objective-to meet the mental health needs of ALL agricultural producers and their families. This session is designed to spark discussion, ideas, collaborations between community and governmental groups to thoughtfully build a mental health safety net across cultures.

    Proactive and Reactive Society: Focus on Rural Mental Health

    Rural healthcare providers and safety professionals have an important role to play in supporting people experiencing stress or mental health challenges. Come listen as Ted Matthews talks about what we can do to be proactive and prepare ahead of crisis. Ted understands the demands farmers face because he counsels farmers in a plethora of areas from crisis intervention to helping farmers relate to their families and workers to better utilize their resources.  If you’re a rural health professional looking to integrate mental health counseling in your care, take time to listen to Ted’s experiences.  He will help you rethink your approach to providing mental health support.  

    Promoting Peace of Mind by Addressing Heirs’ Property and Implementing Effective Succession Planning Strategies (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Owning heirs’ property and experiencing the challenges that accompany this means of owning property can have a negative impact on the mental health and well-being of farmers and landowners. These impacts can be especially felt by individuals who make their living from the land. This webinar will help heirs’ property owners and the professionals who support them to understand the challenges that heirs’ property owners face, identify paths toward clearing title, and learn strategies for preventing the occurrence of heirs’ property in the future.

    Putting Time and Distance Between Someone at Risk of Suicide and Lethal Means: An Overview of the CALM Workshop

    Suicide is a leading cause of death in many communities and impacts hundreds of people. Creating mechanisms to put time and distance between someone struggling with a mental health concern and lethal means is an important part of creating hope and healing.  

    Safety Sensitivity of Opioid Use in High Hazardous Industries Such as Agriculture (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine released recommendations for opioid prescribing based on safety-sensitive occupations. Safety-sensitive work is typically classified as operating motor vehicles, modes of transportation, other heavy machinery, or tasks requiring high levels of cognitive function or judgment. Farm duties frequently demand the use of heavy machinery, and concurrent use of narcotics alongside safety-sensitive work can be dangerous. This training educates healthcare providers on how to assess occupational agricultural risks and corresponding patient guidance for those who are taking opioid medications.

    Sleepless in America

    The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention now identifies sleep deficiency as a public health problem.  Sleep affects every moment of our daily lives, from how we think and remember to how our bodies thrive or deteriorate. It determines how we deal with stress, make choices related to safety, and function as human beings. While most health education tends to focus on nutrition and activity, sleep is arguably the single most important factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and lack of it causes a significantly reduced quality of life.  This presenter proposes that we prioritize sleep and improve daily sleep hygiene to enhance every facet of our well-being.

    Stepping Boldly into Tough Conversations (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Difficult conversations are something that people rarely look forward to. The reality is ignoring a situation and hoping that it will resolve itself, rarely works. Join us to learn how to confidently step into a tough conversation and promote open communication.

    Stress and Dairy Farming: Challenging Times in the Dairy Industry Pave the Way for Mental Health Struggles

    The dairy industry has been struggling with low milk prices, infrastructure problems, trade issues, and isolation for several years. With this comes intense farm stress, despair, and desperation for many. Understanding how the system works – or doesn’t – is important because dairy producers work 24/7/365 to provide our families a safe and nutritious food.

    Tackling Tough Clinical Conversations

    Many healthcare providers report that addressing behavioral health and substance use issues are of the most challenging areas of their practice.  Providers are unsure how to address these issues and yet they are in a prime position to reduce the negative outcomes related behavioral health problems.  This is especially true in rural areas where agricultural workers are found to have higher rates of suicide, depression, and substance use.  This webinar will focus on how healthcare providers can start the conversations necessary to identify and treat behavioral health problems. 

    Talking to Farmers About Pain (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    The occupational hazards that farmers face put them at greater risk for acute and chronic pain as a result of ergonomic repetition, accident, or surgical procedure. Addressing specific occupational sources of pain and what activities the pain inhibits are crucial to improving treatment. This module will focus on how to transform the conversation between provider and patient to improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction.

    The Impact of Climate-Related Hazards on Mental Health

    Extreme weather and climate events can lead to negative human health outcomes. Although the initial outcomes from these natural hazards are typically obvious, the long lasting impacts can be more difficult to identify because of the diversity of potential health burdens during the recovery phase. Mental health outcomes are one of the more complex relationships with natural hazards. The goal of this presentation is to build the link between human health and extreme weather and climate events. The discussion will be focused on rural populations.

    Using Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdose in the Agricultural Workplace: Information for Employers and Workers (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    In 2018, the U.S. Surgeon General called for increased awareness and availability of naloxone, the opioid antagonist, to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Despite the rise in the dispensing of naloxone, there is a significant gap in our response across all sectors of society. In the rural parts of our country, where emergency response times can be dangerously long, developing a workplace naloxone availability and use program could ultimately save lives. This webinar will share information from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to help employers and workers understand the risk of opioid overdose and the role of naloxone. 

    Page updated: July 2021

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