Nebraska AgrAbility did a lot of outreach to farmers & ranchers who may have been affected by the blizzard and flooding. Nebraska Extension staff are creating a project aimed at getting mental health resources to rural families in this trying time to reduce the stigma related to mental wellness. Within this project are also programs directed toward ag professionals to aid them in communicating with farmers under stress. A mental health resource list has been circulated, as well as guidelines for disposing of affected grain and property at https://flood.unl.edu/
Visiting Nursing Association is celebrating the partnership with Easterseals Nebraska and the 100th birthday of the founding of the Easterseals national organization. For 100 years, Easterseals has served as a resource for individuals with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and their families. Together, 71 affiliates in communities nationwide serve 1.5 million people through high-quality programs including autism services, early intervention, workforce development, summer and weekend respite camps, AgrAbility, and more.
Two staff members from Nebraska Extension and Central States Center for Agricultural Health at UNMC are partnering once again to offer tractor safety courses throughout the summer for teens. This course certifies 14- and 15-year-old teens to work for an employer other than a family member.
The annual "Rehabilitating Farmers and Ranchers with Disabilities" class for occupational therapists and physical therapists was held in April. The course is designed to help these health care providers become more competent in their care for the agricultural population they see on a regular basis. It included classroom instruction and a field trip to a local farm.
Kaitlyn, the 2019 occupational therapy student working with Nebraska AgrAbility, has completed the semester by presenting a program about opioid use in rural Nebraska to educate a group of farmers and ranchers in northern Nebraska. Her program research will be used in conjunction with a grant project regarding rural opioid use...more on that in the months to come.
Submitted by Susan Harris-Broomfield