Scope: FarmHand Pilot

    Grants and Contracts Details


    Stand Alone Abstract: FarmHand Pilot A key strategy in outreach involves identifying and educating new partners, who are influencers, and engaging them in developing activities that address relevant issues and concerns within their constituent communities. Currently farmer mental health and suicide prevention are prominent topics for the agricultural community in Kentucky. In the past year various grants, state funding and farm organizations have supported efforts to train community individuals in active intervention strategies such as QPR (Question/Persuade/Refer). Several QPR trainings have occurred in county Agricultural Extension Offices including McCracken County''s facility ( in Paducah, Kentucky. Local Extension offices enjoy the trust of the farmers and farm families in the counties they serve. They also provide a wide variety of services to meet the needs of local farm families and take their mandate to translate current research on farming and farm practices very seriously. The local Extension agents are typically life-long residents of the communities they serve and are well known and respected in their districts. Agents emphasize community service and leadership and are therefore critical to engage in efforts related to raising awareness on the difficult topic of farmer mental health. This outreach proposal will feature several pilot activities to determine the various challenges and successful practices related to implementing this proposed farmer mental health telehealth pilot project at an Extension Office: 1) McCracken County Cooperative Extension will set up a telehealth services (on and off-site) which will service adjacent Western Kentucky counties. EKU Psychology Clinic will provide the counseling services (which clients pay for on a rolling scale). McCracken County will establish a physical, telehealth site and an outreach program to advertise services; 2) EKU Psychology Clinic will provide a total of 7 trauma-informed care session (4 via Zoom and 3 face-to-face) for Cooperative Extension Agents, first responders/counselors and McCracken County staff; 3) SCAHIP researchers will conduct research over the course of the grant with the McCracken County pilot site personnel and the EKU Psychology Clinic personnel regarding implementation issues and successful practices, and 4) SCAHIP researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of these outreach efforts. Context and Need for Services Supported by this Pilot Project On December 11 and 12, 2021 Western Kentucky was hit by an EF4 tornado that caused extensive damage across 11 counties with 56 lives lost. Many towns, including Mayfield Kentucky were virtually decimated and the damage to surrounding rural farms was high (see Extension offices were hit. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture''s education and research facility in Princeton, KY, opened in 2019, was heavily damaged: research equipment destroyed, the facility leveled and farm buildings and approximate 200 head of cattle were lost (see and-education-center-takes-direct-hit-tornado-cafe-staff-find-ways-continue). McCracken County in far western Kentucky and adjacent to most of the counties with heavy damage was not affected by the tornado. Thus, many people from the tornado-effected counties have come to this Extension Office for services. The staff at this Extension office feels a special call to reach out to assist in counties where Extension services have been curtailed by this natural disaster, and to provide access to critical mental health resources in a region in which there is a shortage.
    Effective start/end date9/30/169/29/22


    • National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health


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