September News from North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center
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Greetings!

 
 
  our booth at the farm progress show
  Our booth at the Farm Progress show.
 

Across three warm and sunny days last week, the North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center had a presence at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois. We distributed information about stress, mental health, suicide prevention, and resources to help agricultural producers and their families. The Health and Safety tent also included representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness alongside AgrAbility, demonstrations on grain bin safety, hearing screenings, adaptive farm equipment for producers with disabilities, and a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker spoke to the importance of agricultural mental health, saying, “[t]hese days, there are even more challenges, not the least of which is the COVID-19 pandemic during which this industry has kept right on going so that the rest of the world could stay nourished. The pressures have been intense. The need to tailor mental health resources to better support farmers and farm families has become all the more clear.” He added: “Our farm communities are the toughest of the tough, and when it comes to mental health, asking for help is sometimes the bravest thing that you can do.”

This month's newsletter highlights just a few of our partners, collaborators, and resources that are supporting farmers and farm families. Please take a moment to think of someone you can forward this information to so we can create a larger network of people working together to make it easier for farmers, ranchers, and their families to find help when they need it. 

Sincerely,

Josie Rudolphi, josier@illinois.edu
Courtney Cuthbertson, cuthbert@illinois.edu
University of Illinois Extension

 
     
 

Key Network Collaborator Update

 
 

K-State Research and Extension Stress and Resiliency Team

 
 
  K State logo
 

Born out of the need to help address the mental health needs across rural Kansas, the K-State Research and Extension (KSRE) Rural StressTeam was formed in the fall of 2019. The team underwent a name change to become the Stress and Resiliency Team in early 2020 in order to be inclusive to all Kansans since mental health and stress is not limited by geography or demographics. The KSRE Stress and Resiliency Team is a transdisciplinary team of 30 extension professionals from across the state of Kansas.

While the team was formed to address the challenges individuals, families, and communities face across Kansas, they understand that farm, farm families, and agri-businesses face unique stressors. The KSRE Stress and Resiliency Team is supporting the efforts of the North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center by having members trained to deliver mental health educational programming across the state of Kansas to producers, producer families, and supporters of agriculture. Many of our team members have been trained in Mental Health First Aid, QPR Suicide Prevention, and the MSU Extension Managing Farm Stress Program. For more information on the KSRE Stress and Resiliency Team or the trainings they offer, please contact Rachael Clews at rclews@ksu.edu.

 
     
 

Resource Spotlight

 
 

North Dakota State University Extension Farm Stress Resources

 
 
  NDSU Extension logo
 

In North Dakota, individuals in farming and ranching learn early how to take care of challenges. But life stressors can overwhelm us and make us feel that our bootstraps are wearing out. To assist stressed agricultural populations, NDSU Extension plays a key role in the state as a partner and educational resource provider.

NDSU Extension initiated a farm stress response effort in 2015 and has focused on developing resource publications, short educational videos, and social media messages focused on farm stress concerns. This approach links farm and ranch populations with relevant and practical resources to help them understand and manage stress concerns, including depression and other health issues. A set of five linked resource publications includes:

In addition, a set of related short educational videos based on similar content is available in a playlist on the NDSU Extension YouTube channel, as well as the NDSU Extension farm stress webpage. The educational videos include:

These educational resources and many others on farm stress are available on the NDSU Extension farm stress website at: NDSU Extension Farm Stress. 

 
 
says "managing stress and pursuing wellness in times of tight margins" with a leaf image
 
     
 

Partner Highlight

 
 

AgriSafe Network

 
 
  AgriSafe Network logo
 

AgriSafe Network is a national 501 (c)(3) nonprofit founded by rural nurses to improve the competencies of healthcare providers caring for agricultural producers, farmworkers, and farm communities. Incorporated in Iowa in 2003 and a NIOSH Total Worker Health affiliate, AgriSafe has grown to a national leader in the training of health and safety professionals. AgriSafe’s Total Farmer Health holistic model supports the breadth of resources and educational offerings for agricultural physical and mental health. 

AgriSafe offers free continuing education credits for a range of mental health topics through a partnership with the Minnesota School of Public Health. Current mental health programming includes QPR for Farmers and Farm Families suicide prevention training and the youth-based train the trainer Cultivating a Healthy Mind in the Invest in your Health series.

In October 2021, AgriSafe will launch FarmResponseSM, a 3.5 hour continuing education mental health training module for healthcare professionals and crisis hotline staff. This virtual comprehensive training module was developed by experts in agricultural mental stress and mental health. 

Join AgriSafe and organizations across the nation who have recently formed the AgriStress Response Network, a group of agricultural experts for mental health and wellbeing. The goal of the network is to share innovative models of mental health outreach, services, and education. Connect with the AgriStress Response Network on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AgriStressResponse/

If you are interested in any of AgriSafe’s programming or becoming a member of the AgriStress Response Network reach out to AgriSafe’s Total Farmer Health Director and mental health lead, Dr. Tara Haskins at thaskins@agrisafe.org

 
 
 
 
 
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