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January 2021


Photo of 7 people in a Zoom meeting on the right and in the center the words COMITE ORGANIZADOR in Spanish and below that the logos of 8 organizations.California AgrAbility hosted and presented at the Promotores Virtual Meeting, an online event presenting essential resources in times of COVID-19 for community grassroots leaders. This event was the third in a webinar series and featured presentations on occupational health and safety, AgrAbility services, and travel advisories and safety during these times for seasonal workers. Presenters included representatives from Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, Department of Industrial Relations, California AgrAbility, and the Health Window from Health Education Council. AgrAbility staff also led a section of gentle movements and stretches to help break up the two-hour webinar.

Staff joined the webinar hosted by Colorado AgrAbility titled "Biological Factors Associated with Farm and Ranch Stress and Suicide Risk." Dr. Stallones spoke of the stress diathesis model of suicide. The model is used to describe the underlying predisposition to complete suicide. Epigenetic modifications (extra portions of DNA) can be transmitted from generation to generation. Stress and trauma are triggering events. Dr. Stallones also spoke of the two methods that have shown to have an impact on suicide prevention: educating primary care physicians about the recognition of depression (now they ask more) and restriction to access to lethal means. Sleep disturbances and poor diet were discussed as two areas where intervention is possible. Diet is one of the factors that a person may be able to target without stigma.

California AgrAbility joined the overview webinar for the USDA/NIFA Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) with Focus on the North Central Region. Brent Elrod from USDA spoke about farm stress and the need for this new FRSAN project. Though the pandemic will continue for some time, there are other stressors in agriculture. Farmers and ranchers have experienced more than a 50% reduction in net farm income since 2013 (Farm Bureau, 2013). Farmworkers have greater risk of poor physical health, and those producers who have mental health issues are less likely to look for help. The North Central Region FRSAN project is operating as the North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center.

Photo with Ventanilla de Salud printed at the top and a screenshot of about 24 people in a Zoom meeting in the center-left of the picture with a pumpkin-orange bar at the bottom saying Health Education CouncilCalifornia AgrAbility participated in the monthly Health Window providers' meeting hosted by the Health Education Council (HEC). The meeting started with the introduction of HEC's new executive, Nicamer Tolentino. Through binational health celebrations, the Health Window helped coordinate agencies to promote their respective health events for this campaign. The Mexican Consulate held 11 sessions on mental health through its Healthy Mind, Healthy Life program, and this online series has had over 33,000 views via Facebook. In 2021, California AgrAbility Program will be collaborating with the Healthy Mind, Healthy Life program to reach farmworkers in the 24 California counties served by the HEC.

California AgrAbility joined the regional workshop on stress and mental health presented by National AgrAbility. The workshop introduced five essential steps to develop self-care practices. CalAgrAbility staff were presented with several activities that can promote and increase a healthy mind. The training also provided an overview of the importance of self-care and the belief that, as a person, one can impact others as well.

Screenshot of the Digital Access Project Applicant Enrollment form.Staff joined the monthly Ability Tools meeting. The meeting began with the presentation of CFILC (CA Foundation for Independent Living Centers) and the Digital Access Project. The project targets individuals who do not have digital skills and provides them with the right to internet access. Furthermore, Center for Independence of Individuals with Disabilities in San Mateo presented an opportunity to be part of testing accessible bags that would be created by Timbuk2. The accessible bags would be built to not tear and be comfortable for anyone and any activity.

Submitted by Sara Wat