New York FarmNet is partnering with Cornell Cooperative Extension to bring Mental Health First Aid training to the agricultural community in four locations across the state.

This is a chance for field representatives, agricultural professionals, farm neighbors and agency staff to learn how to start a conversation with someone who seems to be reaching out for help. As this period of low commodity prices has stretched on, those working directly with farmers are also experiencing high levels of stress. Many agricultural service providers may want additional training and information to help their co-workers, neighbors, and farmers they work with regularly.

Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illness, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common supports. This eight-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses, like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

Local trainings are set for 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County Offices in Morrisville. The training cost is $50 per person, which covers materials and lunch. Register online at: pub.cce.cornell.edu/event_registration/main/events_landing.cfm?event=mentalhealthfirstaid_225.

For more information, contact Kate Downes at kdownes@cornell.edu or visit: nyfarmnet.org.