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Drought Recovery Critical Issues for the Unexpected Helper in Drought

Droughts are unpredictable with regard to duration and magnitude of severity. The impact of droughts on agriculture, farmers, farm families, ag businesses, and rural communities is notable and varies based on many factors at the levels of individuals, family, farm, community, region, and environment. A culmination of these elements may increase the risk of unhealthy stress levels, depression, and the possibility of suicide if coping skills and support systems are not adequate or available. However it is possible to reduce the risk of these negative outcomes by applying helpful interventions.

The program presented during this webinar is designed to help participants understand stress and its impact on individuals, family, and others including the possibility of depression and suicide. Effective means of coping and intervening with stress, depression, and suicide will be presented along with a template for resources. This training is not intended to equip staff to assume counseling roles but is intended to help lay people recognize warning signs and initiate appropriate actions when in the unintended helper role.

Presented by Sherry Nelson, Human Development Specialist & Licensed Clinical Social Worker and
Phyllis Onstad, Retired Extension Educator Family Resource Management, MEd Adult Education, Accredited Financial Counselor, AFC.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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