Focus in KY is on prevention of farmer suicide
FRANKFORT, KY – A free one-hour course, developed by Western Kentucky University, designed to aid healthcare professionals in acknowledging and lessening farmer suicides is now available, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced.
“Farmers face a number of risks in their daily jobs, including machinery accidents, chemical exposure, unruly livestock, grain bin entrapment, and severe weather,” Commissioner Quarles said. “But many don’t consider the incredible pressure on their mental well-being. Courses, like the one developed by Western Kentucky University, can aid our health professionals by helping identify early warning signs of mental stress, helping save lives in the process, and creating a stronger agriculture community.”
The course guides healthcare professionals on how to prevent farmer suicide through cultural respect, understanding, sensitivity, and humility (CRUSH). The course will delve into the culture of farming and how knowledge of the agricultural sector can help healthcare workers respond to a farmer in crisis.
Across Kentucky there are close to 76,000 farm families providing food for the commonwealth and the country. For many farmers, farming is more than just a job, it is a way of life. While there are many joys associated with farming, there are also a lot of stressors. These stressors have led to high rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide among the farming community.
The new offering falls in line with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s newest campaign, “Raising Hope – Supporting Healthy Lives on Kentucky Farms campaign.” Raising Hope focuses on improving the mental and physical health of agricultural producers and is a partnership with state universities and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The campaign is supported by appropriations from the Kentucky General Assembly.
The Continuing Education qualifying program is designed for all healthcare professionals and is free and available on CE Central at www.cecentral.com/crush.