Stress Management Program Available Virtually to Ag Community

broken tree limb sitting on top of broken fence

AMES, Iowa – Farming can be stressful in the best of times. Financial worries, unpredictable weather, unpredictable commodity prices, plant pests, livestock diseases and isolation all contribute to farmers’ anxiety. And now Iowa’s rural communities and families are coping with the unpredictability and imposed isolation produced by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the destruction from the derecho that swept through Iowa.
 
In response to this additional stress, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, in collaboration with COVID Recovery Iowa, will offer 10 online “Stress on the Farm: Strategies That Help” programs beginning Friday, Aug. 28, said David Brown, behavioral health specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
 
“While our agricultural community has been impacted by COVID-19, many have now experienced extreme losses of their crops, buildings, storage and other hardships that came with the storm. This is all additional stress that is impacting our agricultural community and it’s important we’re all aware of the signs of stress for ourselves and so that we can be of help to our neighbors,” Brown said.
 
ISU Extension and Outreach will offer Stress on the Farm: Strategies That Help at various dates and times to meet the busy schedules of those in the agricultural community. Each program will last for one-half hour on the following dates and times:

  • Friday, Aug. 28, 1:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Aug. 31, 10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 3, 8:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8, 3:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 11, 10:30 a.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 14, 12:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 22, 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 25, 12:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2:30 p.m.

Agribusiness professionals, agriculture lenders and bankers, veterinarians, vet techs, commodity group members, producers and other concerned individuals can register at no cost for any of these programs. To register, go to https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/stress-farm. Participants will receive a unique URL prior to the program to access the Zoom hosted program.
 
For more information, contact David Brown at dnbrown@iastate.edu.

Other resources

Iowa Concern, offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, provides confidential access to stress counselors and an attorney for legal education, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics. With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. To reach Iowa Concern, call 800-447-1985; language interpretation services are available. Or, visit the website, https://www.extension.iastate.edu/iowaconcern/, to live chat with a stress counselor one-on-one in a secure environment. Or, email an expert regarding legal, finance, stress, or crisis and disaster issues.
 
COVID Recovery Iowa offers a variety of services to anyone affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual counselors provide counseling, activities, referral information and help finding resources for any Iowan seeking personal support. Iowans of all ages may join groups online for activities and learn creative strategies for coping with the effects of the pandemic. COVID Recovery Iowa will announce upcoming programs on the website and via all social media to help Iowans build coping skills, resilience and emotional support. To request support, go to https://www.COVIDrecoveryiowa.org.
 
Photo credit: hookmedia/stock.adobe.com

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