Mental, physical health of agricultural producer priority for Raising Hope campaign
Commissioner Quarles joins all-partner meeting to update community on work to address needs with farmers
FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 18, 2022) - Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles met with other statewide Raising Hope Coalition partners today during a community update regarding their collective work to address mental and physical health needs of farmers.
Recognizing that debt, extreme weather, unstable prices, and isolation have created stress for the farming community, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $500,000 grant to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) to help address the growing mental health crisis. The Raising Hope Coalition was borne of a collaborative effort between KDA, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and state universities to address health and physical stressors experienced by agriculture producers and their families.
“Raising Hope brings awareness and resources to treat the whole of a person,” Commissioner Quarles said. “As we know, when we deal with mental and physical health situations, we may not have the resources or confidence to address a crisis. Raising Hope offers health solutions and a network of individuals who can relate to mental and physical struggles and help to overcome these moments.”
Raising Hope’s goals include removing the stigma associated with mental health situations and providing resources to help maintain physical and mental health. The coalition also aims to improve the health of farmers through translational research, prevention and intervention efforts, and community education and outreach.
Achievements of the Raising Hope partners to address mental health concerns in farmers and farm families were highlighted at the May 18 meeting. Since the initiation of the coalition, state crisis center resources have been upgraded and data collection from hospitals improved. The suicide prevention training Question-Persuade-Refer (QPR) was expanded, as was clinical and cultural humility training for providers in rural communities. Farmers’ stories have been captured to showcase their contributions to our communities. An integrated communications and marketing campaign has also been implemented to target farmers and farm families. A website, www.raisinghopeky.com, focuses on mental health issues in a practical, easy-to-use format that farmers can access anytime, providing suggestions for caring for mental health.
To view the online resources available, visit www.raisinghopeky.com.
ABOUT THE GRANT:
In October 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $500,000 grant to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. This grant-funded initiative, now called Raising Hope, is also supported by appropriations from the Kentucky General Assembly. This initiative is a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the University of Louisville School of Nursing, the University of Kentucky Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention, Western Kentucky University, Pennyroyal Center, the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, and the Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities.
ABOUT RAISING HOPE
The mission of Raising Hope is to promote the physical and mental health and safety of Kentucky’s farmers and farm families through translational research, preventions and interventions, and community education and outreach informed by key stakeholders, with the common goal of enhancing the quality of life for our famers and farm families