(ADAI/TROY, AL) — Leaders from several organizations across the state of Alabama participated in a QPR, (Question, Persuade, Refer) training hosted by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI). The trainings are a vital part of the A Healthy You, A Healthy Farm initiative. The Alabama Department of Mental Health, an essential partner in this initiative, is assisting in providing the training and related resources.
The A Healthy You, A Healthy Farm initiative is funded by the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network project grant awarded to ADAI in October 2021. The goal of the initiative is to provide outreach to Alabama farmers to raise awareness of the stress triggers associated with agriculture. The initiative also offers information and resources to address mental health needs in farming communities. Since January, A Healthy You, A Healthy Farm has trained over two hundred people across the state in suicide prevention.
“A Healthy You, A Healthy Farm is addressing a complex topic in our community. Mental health is a topic that has been ignored for far too long,” said Program Coordinator Liz Mooneyham. “This program is creating new conversations and producing practical results in our state.”
Farmers state financial issues, business problems, and fear of losing their farms impact their mental health. Other factors include weather, the economy and isolation. The most significant obstacles in seeking help or treatment for a mental health condition are cost, availability, accessibility and the stigma associated with seeking mental health assistance. The training provides skills to help recognize the warning signs of a mental health crisis or condition.
“Since the A Healthy You, A Healthy Farm initiative launched in January of this year, we have received significant positive feedback from the community,” said Commissioner Rick Pate. “The Alabama Department of Agriculture is excited to continue the conversation around mental health and breaking down the stigma associated with mental health struggles.”
The QPR training provides skills to help recognize the warning signs of a mental health crisis or condition and provides information on how someone can seek mental health care. The QPR mission is to reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training that participants can implement within their own community. Just as CPR can assist an individual having a heart attack, QPR can help someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis.
To learn more about A Healthy You, A Healthy Farm and mental health resources in Alabama, visit agi.alabama.gov/hyhf.