Supporting Mental Health in Rural New Mexico
The agricultural community can face unique stresses, from unexpected weather events to unstable market prices. These stressors may cause mental health challenges, which in extreme cases can lead to suicidal ideation. The Here to Help New Mexico project’s main goal is to support New Mexican agricultural communities to build resilience in the face of these challenges, by bringing awareness and providing resources and channels for help.
The project highlights the reality that everyone in the agricultural community is valued and cared for by the community: farmers and ranchers are not alone. Everyone in the community is susceptible to experiencing mental challenges; it is okay to not be okay; and together the agricultural community can overcome these challenges.
The first steps for this project included identifying key messages for the campaign. The entire team then worked to develop a website and visual branding elements. As the larger group continues creating resources and opportunities for learning, our team will work with them to share resources on social media and create case study videos that highlight the importance of paying attention to our own mental health as well as the health of people in our communities. The website includes support channels on mental health, hosts a series of events with speakers addressing stress management, and drives a social media campaign bringing awareness to the mental health challenges faced by the agricultural community.
Here to Help NM is a partnership between New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau with New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service and New Mexico Department of Agriculture, funded by USDA-NIFA. It is led by the team at NMSU’s Southwest Border Food Protection & Emergency Preparedness Center. Our department is collaborating on developing media to support the project.
For more information on this project visit the website: HereToHelpNM.com
Written by: Matheus Cezarotto Ph.D, Post Doctoral Researcher