Developing Agri-Cultural Competence for Mental Health Professionals

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In this 3-hour training, attendees will become immersed in the lifestyle of an agricultural producer in order to become better able to provide mental health services to this group of people. Cultural Competence is defined as “The ability to understand, appreciate, and interact with persons from cultures and/or belief systems other than one’s own”. One barrier often referenced by farmers when seeking behavioral health services is that the helping professional lacks understanding of the unique nature of family farming and ranching operations.

The stressors among farmers have compounded during the most recent downturn in the agriculture economy and there has been a corresponding increase in suicides. Most rural areas on the United States are underserved in regards to mental health, psychiatric, and other healthcare services. It is critical that current mental health professionals as well as individuals in education/licensure programs receive training in cultural competency as it relates to farmers, ranchers and their families.

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