NMDA Receives Grant to Strengthen Mental Health Resources | Agricultural News

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture received a grant for the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network program to improve a network that connects people engaged in agriculture, ranching, and other agriculture-related activities to stress relief programs.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded the grant to NMDA. Projects funded under the program must initiate, expand, or maintain programs that provide professional agricultural behavioral health counseling and referral to other forms of assistance as needed through telephone helplines and agricultural websites; training programs and workshops; support groups; and local services and activities. A total of $500,000 has been awarded and must be used by August 31. NMDA has partnered with New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service to allocate these funds across multiple platforms.

NMDA plans to leverage NMSU’s Southwest Frontier Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center, which is a collaborative effort between NMDA and the Cooperative Extension Service, to enhance existing efforts. aligned with achieving the goals of the Stress Support Network.

In collaboration with the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, the Center will use a blended approach to achieve four specific goals articulated around improving behavioral health, reducing and alleviating stress, and achieving results. positive for farming communities in New Mexico. The objectives include:

1. Leverage existing network resources such as the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Stronger Together campaign through a grassroots campaign to increase local awareness and education;

2. Improve professional development opportunities by providing training, such as Mental Health First Aid or similar courses to increase skill-based capacity to recognize and respond to stress in local communities;

3. Adapt and create evidence-based stress prevention, wellness, and health resources to recognize cultural and traditional lifestyles unique to New Mexico and how they are affected by stress; and

4. Host multiple in-person and virtual workshops to provide awareness and education regarding stress relief and wellness in different parts of the state.

The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network website, www.heretohelpnm.com, provides information on stress prevention, wellness, and health resources, or you can contact Marshal Wilson at 575-646- 7243 or [email protected].

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