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Mental Health Workshops

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The Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts (MASCD) has recently been awarded funding from the Rural Maryland Council (RMC) and The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation to host workshops around the state focused on bringing awareness to Mental Health in rural areas. While not often talked about in our industry, farmers have one of the highest suicide rates of any job in the U.S., according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Farmers are also among the highest risk professions for drug abuse and alcoholism.

MASCD, in partnership with University of Maryland Extension, is hoping to make a change in that trend within the state of Maryland. Through workshops being held in March, individuals working in the field with farmers on a daily basis will receive training to detect early warning signs and prevention methods for severe mental stress and substance abuse. These workshops will be targeted towards, but not limited to, agricultural lenders, agribusiness professionals, crop consultants, extension agents, farm bureau leaders, nutrient management planners, and soil conservation district employees. Farmers and farm families are also welcomed and encouraged to attend.

The workshops will be held at four locations around the state this coming winter; including one at Chesapeake College on March 5, Harford County Public Library in Bel Air library on March 6, Frederick Community College on March 7, and the Charles Soil Conservation District on March 8, 2019. Registration will begin at 8:30. Workshops will be held from 9:00-2:30 each day. Full agenda can be found here.

Other supporters of this program include Mid Atlantic Farm Credit and the Frederick Community College Center for Student Engagement.

MASCD hopes this project will benefit farm families across the state of Maryland. Stay tuned for more details as registration opens in the coming months. For more information, contact Danielle Bauer, 443-262-8491 or Danielle.mdag@gmail.com.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental stress, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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