Skip to main content

extension.org ConnectSubgroupsMental Health and Well-Being

Mental Health and Well-Being

This group serves as a community of practice for Extension personnel and their community partners who share a commitment to improving mental health through a focus on social and emotional well-being. Members are encouraged to create blog posts, publicize upcoming events, share resources, and engage with other members on issues of common interest.

Blog

Engaging the Mental Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice at NHOC

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice (MHWB CoP) had a significant presence at the 2024 National Health Outreach Conference (NHOC) in Greenville, NC, held from May 13-15. Both presentations submitted were accepted and received strong engagement at the conference. A team comprising Jennifer Park-Mroch, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin Madison), Bobbie Jo Bensaid, M.A. (Mississippi State University), and Calandra Lindstadt, Ph.D. (Colorado State University), with assistance from...

Time in Nature Improves Mental Health

As temperatures warm and calendars fill, one mental health strategy is to spend time in nature. Research has found that humans are wired to crave time in nature. Connecting with nature has been associated with decreases in perceived stress, decreases in negative emotions, and increases in positive emotions. Spending time in nature has also been shown to increase cognition, memory, creativity, and sleep quality. There are a variety of ways to increase nature time. Exercise is a wonderful...

Sowing Support for Agricultural Stress

Last month I had the opportunity to do a webinar for the Southern Ag Exchange Network on infusing stress education and stress management content in a range of agricultural settings. They recently posted the video, and I thought it might be useful to some folks. Sowing Support: Folding Stress Management Awareness into Agricultural Spaces . Southern Ag Exchange Network, North Carolina State University. Virtual. ...

Trauma-Informed Conversations in Extension Education

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines Individual trauma as resulting from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual's functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being. (SAMHSA, 2022). Sundborg (2019) describes that the purpose of a trauma-informed care approach is to...

How Extension Can Address Mental Health in Workplaces

As concerns about mental health and substance use continue to rise, yet the challenges of navigating mental health treatment access persist, many workplaces want new or expanded resources to support their employees’ mental health and well-being. Employers increasingly recognize the impact that mental health and substance use can have on employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention, but also struggle to foster recovery-friendly workplace cultures. In a comprehensive needs assessment...

Words Matter: It’s Time to Reframe our Mental Health Conversations

What does “mental health” mean to you? Is this different from “mental illness”? Some people also use the terms “mental flourishing”, “mental languishing”, “mental wellness”, and the list goes on. One step Extension professionals can use to reduce stigma and put the mental health conversation on the table is to clear up our understanding of terms. First, let’s consider “mental health”. This may make you think about depression, anxiety, or other common mental health struggles. Often when we...

A Random Inconvenience

I recently had a conversation with an official from an agency that educates, trains, and empowers blind and low vision individuals. We were discussing how to share the impact of two Mental Health First Aid courses that were offered to the staff at this agency. During the dialogue, this official shared that we must understand that most individuals who are blind or are low vision view this disability as a “random inconvenience.” I thought that was a very profound way to describe a disability...

A raw and honest account of my therapy journey

Guest pot by Jane Schuchardt, Executive Director (ret.), Extension Committee on Organization and Policy What do you do when your handsome, talented, and accomplished son in his early 20s, one you thought you had a close relationship with, suddenly pulls away, acts in ways that seem out of the ordinary, causes you immense concern? Seek help — someone who will listen without judgment, skillfully take you down a path of discovering insights and ways of coping, and walk beside you to celebrate...

Raising awareness for teen mental wellness

Well darn--I made a mistake scheduling this blog post so we missed the day: March 2nd is World Teen Mental Wellness Day. However, I have been trying to celebrate mistakes and not let good work go to waste over something small like a deadline. And now I know you have to hit "publish" to schedule your upcoming posts! Read on to learn about World Teen Mental Wellness Day...in preparation for next year! World Teen Mental Wellness Day was established in 2020 to bring awareness and attention to...

Make a Dopamine Menu and Keep Yourself Full(filled)

If you’re like me, you may spend your free time scrolling through social media whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit,… There are so many virtual portals that suck us in! That’s not a bad thing, but at some point, between always working and taking care of others, I’ve forgotten what I enjoy doing for fun! I also look for those quick brain boosts that don’t exactly fulfill me. When we are mentally satiated and releasing dopamine due to healthy and meaningful...

Save the date: Taking Action Against Substance Use in Communities (TASC)

We are excited to announce a regionwide train-the-trainer workshop for the new curriculum, Taking Action Against Substance Use in Communities (TASC), funded by the North Central Cooperative Extension Association (NCCEA) and the Great Lakes Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Regional Center (ROTA-RC) . Please forward this announcement to NCR Extension professionals who may be interested in this opportunity! Are you working with communities that are struggling with addiction? Are you tired of...

Understanding and Minimizing the Impact of Mental Health Stigmas

What is mental health stigma? Are there different types of mental health stigmas? Are you aware of the specific type of mental health stigma you experience and its potential impact on you? Kalichman (2019) defines mental health stigma as “the disgrace, social disapproval, or social discrediting of individuals with a mental health problems.” Additionally, research has identified four types of mental health-related stigma (Subu et al., 2021), Self-stigma – Often referred to as internalized...

The Science of Gratitude: How Thankfulness Can Change Your Brain and Life

Have you ever stopped to think about the power of saying "thank you"? Gratitude is more than just good manners. It's a science! Explore the fascinating world of gratitude and how it can affect your brain and life. So what is gratitude? Gratitude is that feeling of thankfulness and appreciation for the good things in our lives. Recognizing when something good is happening can have a measurable impact on our brains when we articulate it to ourselves or others. Let's learn how gratitude works...

How Extension Can Help to Bridge the Mental Health Professional Shortage Gap

I tend to closely monitor the statistics on the number of mental health providers per capital in each state, particularly the Midwest states. According to Mental Health America (Reinert, Fritze, & Nguyen, 2021) most of the Midwestern states tend to fall in the bottom half of this state-by-state ranking. This means the need for mental health care is rapidly overtaking the workforce’s ability to provide it. So how can Extension bridge this gap? To be honest there is little we can do to...

On Common Ground - Mental Health In Rural New Mexico

Agriculture can be filled with unique stresses, from fluctuating market prices to unpredictable weather events. As a result of these unique stressors, it's no surprise that agricultural communities have experienced increases in mental health challenges and suicide. Here to Help NM is an innovative initiative resulting from a collaborative partnership between the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, New Mexico State University, and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to help farmers and...

Post

About the Extension Foundation

This website is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit extension.org. You can view the terms of use at extension.org/about/terms.

×
×
×