Event ID: 2019257
Event Started: 9/27/2012 3:01:58 PM ET

Good afternoon. Welcome to the AgrAbility Webinar series. My name is Paul Jones. I'm the manager of the national AgrAbility project at Perdue university. Today's topic is on men mental/behavioral health resources for the drought aftermath. Our present today is Dr. SWITZER in mental health issues and nursing. We are happy to have her as our present today. Before we get started with the presentation I have a few basic Webinar instructions. If you registered for the Webinar you should have received a handout of resources related to the topic. If you did not receive that or you would like other people to have that handout we'll give you the link at the end of the presentation. We need speakers or head phones to be able to hear the presentation. We are not using a conference call line today. You might want to check connection speed under the meeting menu and the manage by settings submenu. Dialup is not recommended for this Webinar. We'll also be taking questions about the actual presentation. If you'd like to ask a question please type that in the chat window on the left side of your screen and hit the send icon. We'll collect those and address them at the end. There is a captioning pod at the bottom of the screen. If you do not want to see the captions you may adjust that so it is not visible by using the menu that's at the top right ofthat pod. If \u\you have any technical issues during the Webinar use the chat window or e-mail the address on the screen. You might want to write that down while it is available. I will note during our last Webinar we had several instances of people being disconnected. We hope that does not happen today. If it does be patient and reconnect to the room. We have four quick survey questions at the end. Immediately proceeding our question and answer session. It will only take a money or two. So if you'll please answer that for us it will give us feedback on society's session. We are recording this Webinar and should be archived soon onthe AgrAbility.org website under the online training link. For those not familiar with AgrAbility it is a U.S.D.A. sponsored program. Our main focus is on disability in agriculture. Every AgrAbility project is a partnership between a land grab university and at least one disability services organization. There are currently 23 funded AgrAbility projects covering 25 states. And the national AgrAbility project is led by breaking new ground resource center. If you'd like more information about AgrAbility and would like to look at other resources we have, including tool box assisted technology database visit AgrAbility.org website. At this POINT I'll turn it over for the body of our presentation. Again, please feel free to type in your questions. We will be addressing those at the end.

Thank you very much, Paul. I'm honored and pleased to be part of this program. I myself grew up on a farm in Indiana. I don't remember hearing a thing about stress or worrying about anything as a child. But I know there are lots of worries they kept from us. I admire the boys for coping with everything well. It is not any easier than it was then. It may be harder. I don't know. What I would like to share today is basically an overview of mental health concerns. We often talk about drug stressed crops. Today I'll talk about drug stressed farmers and families. You don't want to forget that component, as well. Were going to look at mental health difficulties you might rub into. Stress and signs associated with the stress and anxiety and depression so you can recognize what's going on. We'll learn about the basic things you want to say or how you want to interact with someone. As well as key and wonderful resources available. Finally a new opportunity mental health first aid. We hope to share with you a few programs. Just to generally look back and review what is stress? I know we all experience it every day. It is a definition of blocked chaotic energy. It feels like that a lot of times. You are anxious, ancy, and not sure what to do with that. Stress itself is occur in different ways. That's important. It can be sudden, example might be a tractor or combine that gets on fire or breaks down during the middle of the harvest. You would have a timeline crunch because of weather and so forth. That might be an example. It can be longer. You might have one thing go wrong after another in a particular day. And just have a bad day. That can build up if you have several days like that. When you have weeks and months that go like that it becomes to pile up more. More and more stresses there. Energy is free floating. You should know how to handle it in a healthy way. Our goal is to prevent that stress and anxiety from building before you can develop problems. Prevention and education are key. We'll identify stressors, things causing problems. Identify signs and symptoms of stress. And then how to manage that. I understand the audience is mostly professionals and extension and some AgrAbility and other work places and such. Not so much farmers directly. I'm going to mostly direct it to you as a support person for the farmers and real folks you work with. Farming is stressful. You are trying to meet a deadline, to get something in or planted or harvested. Very interesting study by national institute for occupational safety and health puts farming in the top ten stressful occupations in the United States. That's not too distant of a study. It was done in '08 journal reference. It is there all the time. The problem is the more stress you have it is difficult finance our body and physical being as well as your eMeigs no being. It has wide-ranging effects. It is interesting farmers have the same stressors as nonfarm families. That long list of cluttered on the side there, you can seal the variety of normal every day stressors farmers do have. Changes in the season, day-to-day, week to week, things dealing with harvesting, finances, debt loans, machinery, passing the farm down is not thing to think about. Some of these farms have been in the families a hundred years or more. Who is going to break the chain? If they are having difficulties that's a background stress. Overall the biggest thing mentioned is unpredictability and lack of control. That's very significant when you are trying to handle things. Things are unpredictable and they can not always be controlled. What happens if you are not controlling them? Then you think you are a failure. That's a possibility. That adds more stress day-to-day. What happens when there is a drought or some kind of a disaster catastrophe that's going on? The difference is with the drought situation this is not just a day, a week or a month. It can go on for months and have an impact for years after that. Just based on what's happened. I think we are in a situation like that now, as everybody knows. While that is going on with the farmer in the family anxiety is building up. Stress and anxiety are growing. It becomes a day-to-day increase of what's going on. They are just coping with thing fight oring flight response. It might pile up until you are stuck with a lot of intense feelings that are not dealt with. Often times it is interesting, a tornado is something that comes through or a hurricane and wipes an area out. You see it. You know it is damaged. On the other hand when you think about a drought you see dryness in the fields. You don't really have the full impact of what that means. It unfolds in a different, slower way. Bottom line is how out of control that feels not to be able to do something about it. What I wanted to do today is put this in the context like a crop management plan. You go about planting and preparing the fields and monitoring them throughout the season and harvesting and so forth. Everything you deal with, finances, it is a crop management plan. What will take place is a farmer management plan or farm family management plan when it comes to stress and coping. I don't know many people think of it that way. I'm sure our family didn't but I think it might have helped. Just like we take care of fields and crops and livestock and everything that we have on our farms we need to take as much time as we can to take care of ourselves and our families. Because, without that major resource, you, the farmer, the whole operation would not exist or may not be quite as fulfilling as it is. Little model that I created is based on Canada funded model they use. With additions here. They have a lot of resources. Funding into clinics that deal with rural mental health and maybe good models we can learn from how that deal with that information. Areas we'll touch on are hit by the storm. The foggy middle, on firm ground and calm in the storm. Hoping with the stresses of life. Hopefully this can serve as a way of thinking about the process that happens with the person and their stresses during a crisis like we are having. First stage is the drought-stressed former model. It is hit by the storm. As we said there is always stress. At this POINT what happens is the extra stress lays on. It keeps going and going like it has the last spring and summer. At which POINT you realize this is not a normal year. Yeah, we have bad years but this is a really bad year. Major changes will happen as a result of that. Knowing that is different than next year will be better. A lot of feelings you see are disbelief, anger and rage. Again, what to do with it. That sense of loss you'll have changes that might happen. Loss of money. And the vulnerable feeling. What happens when people feel vulnerable, unless they have a nice set of coping skills they have been taught or learned in their families we turn to things that are not healthy to get through hard situations. Things like alcohol, drugs and that kind of thing. We want to work to correct that area. Early warning signs, instead of going about your day and ignoring it, your body level and emotional level start paying attention to how you feel. That's something you want to share be your farm families. They can help each other with that. Spouses as well as the kids. I'm assuming most are men. When I say he, that's referring to any of them. These are things that you would start seeing though earlier on. And would continue to to intensify. It could be in routines they carry on around the farm. Declines in livestock and smaller crops that are there. Illnesses, they might start getting ill. We'll get in more detail on that. Accidents, having silly accidents that they usually never had because they are preoccupied. Farm might start looking like you are not spending extra time doing mowing and taking care of things and painting. The kids can reflect it. Kids amazing how they are a barometer for a family. They would pick up on the stress, as well. Those are things you might see. Here are detailed signs. I don't know if you'll read each one. If you have questions later you are welcomed to put them in. You can see a variety of issues. First category is physical. It is documented down the list. When a person goes to their family doctor usually 80% of those visits have something to do with an emotional issue or feeling. That doesn't mean they are mentally ill. But there is emotional issues going on, whether it is tress or depression like we are talking about here today. But they reflect in your body. It is always good to think about that as a professional when you are with families and they are saying they have headaches and ulcers. Being able to find things out can be helpful. Another category is emotional aspect. Plain, straightforward feeling . People may look sad. Or more angry or anxious. You lose your sense of humor. A lot of times the idea is to get together with a bunch of guys and have coffee and bring crops in and things. They always have a good time laughing and so forth. There may not be that much happening. That's an indicator of spirits lower. The issue is to keep this going over a long time. Behavioral changes. Some are feelings you are seeing expressed. Or withdrawal is a good one. Usually they might be a social person. And go out and go to church and do events around town or whatever. They may stay in bed and no go anywhere. That's an indication of the change in behavior to watch out for. Alcoholism and drugs. That's a quick way to numb pain. Unfortunately it doesn'ting work in the long haul and has physical debt remeants behind it. Violence, of course with alcohol often will come feelings in ways that are not healthy. Overall there is so much diversity in the human spirit I'm making many generalizations. Hopefully you can get the high points of what is important. Their process to think slows down. They may be losing memory. Making decisions on what to do with money, farm, day-to-day situations? Biggest one of all is one that farmers and farm families the whole idea if I can not take care of a family and make things work perfectly they feel they are a failure. That's not true. Just like when the drought is happening with the crops you don't know how it will end up. It is that big uncertain event. They may feel like I want to get out of this one day or the next. Nothing feels positive. It is hopeless. Am I up to this. How does my family feel about this? We have had a farm so long. Now I might lose it. It is important to notion how it is affecting the person's self esteem. The most common thing you'll see on stress is anxiety. It is a free flowing feeling and tension. Along with that depression. It can be severe. Off times people will beat up on themselves, to so speak, when they are not doing specifically and it can cause depression. Acting out anger outwardly. Third possibility is anger towards themselves when they consider hurting themselvess with secure software development. Those are the biggest things we'll talk about today. This is again very important time for assessing farmer's emotional state. If somebody you are in contact with on a regular basis that would be in the back of my mind all the time. How are they doing? Are they changing for the worse or better? Are they staying the same with thousand they are dealing with this? The more you get signs and symptoms the more severe they are the more you should be concerned. Actual mental illness is defined by the way they are not able to carry out their daily functions of life. So they are not doing their work. They are not doing relationship and families well. They are not able to function like they would normally function. That's when you get more concerned. If they have depression and talked about secure software development in general terms, that's in the back of your mind you are thinking do I need to help them connect to a resource? Professional? Person? A group that can help them? They may not say it in so many words they need help. Many times I would imagine this population would not say a lot directly unless they know you are really interested and care and want to hear that. Part, we'll talk about later on how to approach someone. If someone does say something about wanting to hurt themselves or they are so depressed their life doesn't seem worthwhile, that should be taken seriously. It is something, again you don't know quite what to do with it. The fact you are hearing it is everybody is trusting you to tell you that. That's a positive thing. We have several signs of depression. That seems to be the more global situation you might see in people. It shows up in all the ways we talked about in general. Appearance. Unhappy feelings. Thoughts. People problems. Being able to relate to each other. Physical illnesses. Guilt and low self esteem. Difference becomes where it is taking a toll on their able to function on a day-to-day basis. There is a checklist which we'll talk about on the reference sheet. We can sit down with somebody and let them fill out out. Or you can do it and get a sense with what you think is going on with them. It is important to keep tabs of the symptoms and markers. The other thing was when the depression is so bad that secure software development is contemplated. Before we start a majority of people do not commit secure software development when they have depression. But it is so important that even if one person is considering that we need to pay attention to that. Most people with support can get through depression quite nicely and move forward. We are not talking long term state with this. If there is secure software development ideas going on that's where you can be supportive for the person. It is a desperation response. How I think of it is when someone is in a place that's difficult, everything looks dark. I have done sessions with people in my therapy where people don't see a light at the end of the tunnel, literally. They think they are buried in the dark. And will not ever be able to get out of this. That's the key to secure software development. It feels like there is no way out. The fact that you might be concerned and be there to listen and talk to them is very extremely important. It is a desperation response. Again, you may see a lot of same issues going on. We have a theme here. It is nothing new about the way it shows up. Severity is increasing. Whether it is hopelessness, alcohol or drug abuse issues. Other thing in here is have you had a family history of secure software development or depression? And have they had tempts with secure software development in the past? Did they have a plan? That's an important question. The more people thought things through and worked them out on how they might end their life the more likely it will happen. That's the general rule. Is there anxiety or energy that doesn't have a place go. Do they feel trapped? Hopeless? Going off by themselves. Sleeping all day. Wrecklessness is interesting. Often time will take less care of their own health by maybe not putting seat belt on or not driving as carefully as they usually would. Accidents that might not be really accidents at some POINT. If you were to look back on them, they occur. Mood changes. Are they happy one day and sad the next? That's another diagnosis. That's the list you can keep with you to go through those. Now you come to the part that's most important to you. Yes, I'm finding signs. I'm finding symptoms. What do I do? Am I a trained professional. I have never had classes in psycho therapy. Worries about what to say is less important than what to do with them and how to be with them. What to say, even if it is supportive in a general way not everything is going to be fine. Don't worry. That's not necessarily true. Something that might be true is you don't have to handle this alone. You have family and friends. I'll support you as much as I can. I can find you additional support that's professionally trained. That information is what you want to get across. Working with hopelessness. There is a way out. We got to find it together and do problem solving. Along with that would come the praising or reenforcing the fact that they are sharing with you. That's a hard thing to do. Not something everybody loves to sit down and talk about weaknesses and feelings. That means maybe they trusted you enough to let you in on what's going on in their life. The other thing you would to is if there is an imminent danger for life you would definitely contact resources right away. Just as in CPR if somebody is having a heart attack and you are doing CPR you call an ambulance. You don't wait. Same with emotional health. Let's stop with secure software development. It is not all about secure software development but this is the most difficult thing for people. That's why I put more time into it. It is uncomfortable and frightening. Periods of years in the 80s and 90s, 200 era, I found in research studies that farmers have higher rates of secure software development. I would not expect that. Myself, I was taken back by that. When you think about it and reading about it what are feeling of inadequacy and down and not feeling well. Usually you push forward, in my family you did. You pushed forward preach ward. You don't complain. You don't talk about the down days. You get to work and do your job. Instead of what we think accounts for this, instead of doing that talking they'll hold it inside. All the energy and stress until it builds to a POINT where they don't see a way out anywhere. And they complete the secure software development. Again, the feeling of trapped and lost and not connected to anybody that can help them. In a way that's a simple thing but a hard thing, too. Knowing that, I think it is encouraging for any of us to be able to reach out to somebody suffering with this. Big thing is secure software development is preventable. Things will never, ever stay the same. Life is changing. You can always count on those two things when you are talking to people. Key is they trust you or they would not be talking to you but they can not see the way out by themselves. That's very positive for intervening. Also, you hear about people giving warning signs. Sometimes they do and you might not think of them that way. That's not because you are not paying attention or not clued in, but sometimes people are more subtle. That's a study I would love to do some day is look at how farmers express these emotions. Is there a difference in the general male population? If you hear something you think is a clue, I'd address it. The other is if you talk to someone about secure software development or ask them that will cause them to commit secure software development. That's not true. It is the opposite. As I said maybe you are the first one that's had the courage to bring up the possibility. Because you know that person and you know that style. You want to be able to touch base with them in a way that maybe others would not be able to. It will build trust that much more with you. You don't have to do it in a rude way. There are ways to get that out. You as a staff person or professional in the community the biggest thing is building that connection. And active listening. I was talking about the fancy tools. There is not too much fancy about that. Meet with someone and not be doing other things. If someone is distressed that's important. That's probably harder for us. Because we are uncomfortable. We want to do something. We want to help fix them and make everything right. Because we care about the person. That's probably not what's needed then. In this case listening is not passive. It is an active thing that you do. It takes time. It tax focus and energy. Instead of every time they have a problem bringing up a suggestion you'll reflect back to them or let them know you are listening Binoding or whatever. Empathic responses show you care. You might say something like if they are talking about how they are feeling you feel like things are not getting better. It is repeating back something they said. Only letting them know you are hearing exactly what they said. Tock that with words, nods, with how your demeanor is with the person. The only way that really makes it tricky sometimes is if you do things that are communication busters. This only come out of your own concern and anxiety. For me that's what happens. You might interrupt them or think I got to leave in 20 minutes and look at your watch. Or judging them. You should know better than feeling like this. Get yourself together. Sometimes the obvious and sometimes more subtle. Stating opinions as fact. That has to do with religion. You may have certain feels on religion about secure software development. This is not the time to share those. You are more concerned about the person and making sure they have the support they need. That's true with these things in depression in general not just with secure software development. These things make us all feel like we are not being heard or worth enough. If somebody's self esteem is low that will compound that more. There is something to be said with connecting with the family. You might get a different perspective or same perspective. You might find out the wife and kids are as depressed as the husband is. You look for cues with them. Find out how are things going in the last few weeks? It has been hard for everybody. There is another example of what you might say. This has been really stressful. The key thing to insert is that this is a normal reaction. This is not crazy or mentally ill. It is normal. This is a very Abnormal event we are experiencing. Not something we go through every they. It is expected you would be upset. That's okay. The key then is to say, maybe we can help you figure out ways to deal with this. Get insight into it. Problem solving or whatever. Let them know there is something that can be done. It is not the end. It doesn't have to be the end. Whether they are depressed, or if there is suicidal intent and they admitted that in a way, what you want to do in the back of your mind is think how can I get them to someone that can help them more than I can? That has to be couched in a certain way with these folks. They are independent self-sufficient. Very resilient. This would be done with the person. You let them know you are not capable. This is not your area of what you know to help them. There are people you can go to. Even if it is local minister, pastor at your church, we have other ideas coming up here. Anybody they trust or family doctor. That's a good place. Hospitals. There are many places that you really don't think about usually unless you really need them. We might want to put up a plan later on and look up resources now so you have them next time around. If someone calls a crisis line. If you decide that needs to be done and there is nobody else available then, you might be there with them or not depending on what they want. Just let them know this is where the person is at quote unquote. If they shy away from talking you can be supportive in helping them do that. As I mentioned, there are resources. That's where I want to spend time now. We have done the highlights of basics finding out there is a problem. Looking at how bad the problem might be. Looking at do they need an instant referral for something life-threatening? Don't isolate yourself. Use families and resources. Get together have a cup of coffee or pot luck. Final stage is calm with coping with stresses. This is a time once the severity is gone it would be a time when you get back together and be thankful for your family, friends and community. And learn new skills. That's important to the future. Don't forget you are identified as caregivers because you are professionals who work with those in rural areas. You hear stories. You hear all these events going on. It is important to not let yourself feel overwhelmed but be able to hear their pain but not take it home with you. Take care of yourself. Which means physically, emotionally, knew tricks, sleep, activity. Everything to make sure you are taking care of yourself before you can help others. Wing program that's helpful is mental health first aid. I put a few slides on here. It was excited to be able to attend the training last year. And be certified as a trainer. It is sponsored by Maryland and Missouri. This program came -- first, it is help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis until professional treatment is received or the crisis is resolved. It is for nonprofessionals. They don't want psychiatrist necessarily to be trained. They don't want people who know counselors or social workers. It is really a helpful course. I took it myself. It is two days. Two six-hour days. 12 hours of training with lots of examples of mental health problems you'll run into. How you talk to people. What you do first, second and third. It is helpful. Started in Australia in 2001. The more you are able to appreciate and be with them. First aid and mental health is as common as CPR in 15 years. It is available for everyone. I work with nurses to-date, staff in a local rural hospital. Churches. Any folks benefiting from this. If you want more information on this program there is a website mental health first aid.org. I also, since I'm trained, will be able to talk to you about training in your area. We can help look for trainers that are there if there are not any. I would be happy to facilitate groups. Contact for national is on here. That's the information. I will now turn the program back over to Paul.

Thank you. Very helpful information. If you have questions type those into the chat room. We will be addressing those in a minute. We would also like you to complete the four poll questions. I will bring the first one up for you. It asks about your professional affiliation. If you can indicate what organization you work with we'll give you a second to fill that. Realize some of you may be in multiple categories. Appreciate you indicating the best choice there. Second poll has to do with the information we shared today. If you could please let us know if the information met your expectations or whether you believed it was valuable. I'll give you a second to fill that out. We'll broadcast results in a minute. Thank you very much for your information. Third question asks about the technology used today. We are wanting to know whether you believe that the technology was effective and usable. And specifically if you had some problems with getting disconnected from the room or if you had specific suggestions about the technology we'd appreciate you sharing those in the chat window so we can follow up on those specifically. Just to give you a few more seconds to indicate your choice. We'll broadcast results. Thank you for your input. We appreciate you letting us know if you were disconnected from the room. Our question asks about your belief about attending another session in this series based on today's session. Based on today's session would you attend another session in this series. Couple more seconds and we'll broadcast those results. Thank you for your input. This time I will turn things back over. She'll be addressing any questions submitted I'll read the question and then address when I came here now. The there a mechanism for training mental professionals or national holt line folks as they are not tuned into farm stress issues? That's an issue. I went for the first time to the national rural mental health association. I, at this moment am I wear of anyone that does that. That would be something that could be passed along to a group like that. Or through extension agents as well as in local areas. That would be something very helpful, I think. Local positions might want to get together and have someone talk to them who comes from the farm culture. And let them know about the culture and so forth. At this moment I don't think of anything off the top of my head that's in place. Will the slides be made available? Yes, they will. That takes a couple of days to get processed. The live presentation as well as slides will be available. You should have already the reference sheets. Do keep those. Those are loaded with good things you'll find off the top easy. There lab transcript there, too. Transcript will be available for you to look at. transcriptpt will be available, too. If there are no other questions I'll turn this over to Paul. That concludes the Webinar. Thank you.

I wanted to mention at the bottom of your screen you have a web link for the AgrAbility mental health resource page. I will go ahead and also add her e-mail address to the web link in a minute. So that you can have that available if you want to contact her about doing a training or have other questions for her. We thank you again for attending today. If you have any further input you may feel free to e-mail AgrAbility at AgrAbility.org. If you have technical issues or questions we'd be glad to hear those, too. Thank you for attending. We hope you'll join us again for the next Webinar.