Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives workshops to begin in Indiana
Registration is open for a series of workshops aimed at raising awareness and reducing stigma surrounding mental health in the agriculture industry.
Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler says the Healthy Minds, Health Lives workshops will help provide critical resources in the industry.
“The idea is to share with people what stresses farmers. The first part of the workshop will talk about the statistics and how much stress there is in the industry. Agriculture has high stress, and the suicide rates are grim,” he says. “The other part of the workshop is to train people on how to look for signs. It’s not just for farmers, certainly we want farmers and farm families, but it’s also for people who supply them—think about seed suppliers, other input suppliers, and bankers who work with farmers. The idea behind the workshop is to train those folks to understand and see if there is stress in a farmer’s life and then help and direct them to resources.”
The Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives program was created by the Indiana Rural Health Association.
The workshops are part of a partnership with the association, Purdue Extension, and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. ISDA received a $500,000 grant from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture’s Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network in October.
There will be 23 free workshops conducted across the state beginning February 10 and concluding in July. Each one-day workshop is limited to 35 people, so individuals interested in participating are encouraged to register early.
The workshops are open to the farming community, including agribusinesses and related service industries, the faith community, local leaders, and families.
Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch says “our rural communities are the backbone of our Indiana economy, and we can make them even stronger by supporting mental health and reducing stressors at home and in our communities. These workshops will give our farmers the resources to help their neighbors and their family members who may be struggling.”
The workshops will include local resources including telehealth options and information about the Purdue Farm Stress Program. The Indiana Rural Health Association will also present a training session for the Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) program.
To register and see the list of upcoming workshops visit www.indianaruralhealth.org/events.