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April 2009


Nebraska Neighbor-to-Neighbor Training
Peers or peer supporters offer valuable assistance in meeting and overcoming the challenges presented by disabilities.  In customer satisfaction surveys, peer support is recognized as one of the positives of the AgrAbility program.

In an effort to strengthen the peer network in Nebraska, a training was offered the end of February in Kearney, Nebraska.  Six former AgrAbility clients were trained as peers through the “Neighbor-to-Neighbor Peer Support Training: Be A Best Friend”.   Dr. Robert Fetsch, who developed the curriculum, conducted the workshop with Nebraska AgrAbility staff assisting. 

As part of the training, peers learned what peer support is and what it is not; effective ways to connect with and establish rapport with other farmers/ranchers who have acquired disabilities; and signs of high stress, anger, depression and suicidal thinking.  Activities during the training helped them enhance their active listening and problem-solving skills as well as helping them make effective referrals to appropriate professionals.

Positive evaluations and comments from the trainees proved the success of the training.  Nebraska AgrAbility staff is anxious to use the skills of these newly trained peers with current and new clients.

Submitted by: Sharry Nielsen