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News Filed Under The PROMISE Initiative

September 15, 2023 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Mental Health First Aid

STARKVILLE, Miss. – A Mississippi State University Extension instructor has been selected to a national Extension Foundation committee focused on improving mental health.

Hands clasped together over a dry field.
June 5, 2023 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Prescription Opioid Misuse, Mental Health First Aid, Farm Stress

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Edward Jenkins manages his family’s small farm in Grace, Mississippi. It’s property that has been in his family since the 1940s.

Like other farms, Jenkins’ family-run operation is a delicate balancing act of making the right decisions and dealing with issues that are beyond a farmer’s control, including weather and markets. It’s a high-pressure business.

A man sits with his chin proped on his hand
May 11, 2023 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Mental Health First Aid, Farm Stress

Life can be overwhelming sometimes, and stress is a normal part of life. Too much unchecked stress can lead to physical and mental health challenges that must be addressed. Know the signs to watch for and learn what to do when you or someone you know needs help.

Stressed-out man with head in his hands.
April 3, 2023 - Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Disaster Response, Mental Health First Aid

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- After natural disasters, food and shelter are prioritized well above mental health, but ignoring emotional distress can lead to serious physical health conditions.

October 7, 2022 - Filed Under: The PROMISE Initiative

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service mental health campaign continues to receive national recognition, this time from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A man stands on crutches in silhouette against a background of farm equipment.
August 16, 2022 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Food and Health, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Prescription Opioid Misuse, Mental Health First Aid, Farm Stress, Rural Health

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The rollout of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline offers more hope to individuals dealing with mental-health-related distress. That population includes farmers and farm workers, who are among those most at risk for suicide and mental health distress.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, male agricultural workers have the fourth highest suicide rate among men in all industries. 

Closeup of gummy vitamins in a child’s hand
August 3, 2022 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Prescription Opioid Misuse

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Over-the-counter medications and supplements seem safer than prescription drugs, but a dramatic rise in pediatric melatonin overdoses serves as a warning that these products can be dangerous and must be stored safely.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a 530% increase in melatonin overdose in children from 2012 to 2020. Most of these ingestions were unintentional and occurred among children 5 or younger in their homes.

Man on a farm holding a baseball cap.
June 3, 2022 - Filed Under: Farming, Farm Safety, The PROMISE Initiative, Farm Stress, Rural Health

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- For Nathan Casburn, the land that has been in his family since the early 1900s is now more than simply his workplace.

The Tallahatchie County farm is a place of healing from an opioid addiction that began with pain medication prescribed after he was in a car accident during high school.

Casburn explained in a miniseries titled “On the Farm” that one of the biggest hurdles in his recovery was “saying I can’t do this on my own, and I need help with this.”

Man in a maroon shirt and baseball cap in a greenhouse.
July 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, AIM for CHangE, Mental Health First Aid

LOUISVILLE, Miss. -- Jim McAdory wears many hats. On any given day, the Mississippi State University Extension Service agent fields calls from local cattle farmers, teaches kids about the importance of daily nutrition, and tests soil to diagnose front yard and garden harvest problems -- all before lunch.

Based in Winston County, McAdory recently gained an additional role: Mental Health First Aid instructor.

A tractor parked outside of a shed at night.
June 24, 2021 - Filed Under: The PROMISE Initiative
By Erica Hensley
For the MSU Extension Service

Colby Hardin managed his depression since he was diagnosed at 18. With medication, he kept it under control throughout college, while working at Mississippi State University's dairy farm.

Flood waters surround a home in the south Delta.
June 7, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Rural Health

To some people, farming is an idyllic way of life, but producers face some unique stressors that can impact their well-being. In fact, a national poll by the American Farm Bureau Federation in 2019 confirmed that about two in five farmers and farm workers reported experiencing increased stress levels and more mental health challenges since 2014.

May 11, 2021 - Filed Under: Food and Health, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Farm Stress

The Mississippi State University Extension Service PROMISE Initiative has two upcoming sessions in a webinar series that addresses farm stress, mental health and social structural issues affecting farmers and ranchers. The webinars will be held May 18 and June 15 at noon CST. They are part of the ongoing “R is for Rural and Resilient” series that began in November 2020.

Two workers walk behind a red tractor in a field.
April 15, 2021 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farm Safety, The PROMISE Initiative

Planting season is underway and with it comes the transportation of heavy equipment along Mississippi’s roadways.
Drivers can help support local agricultural producers and their $7.4 billion contribution to the state’s economy by staying alert while sharing the road with planters, tillers and tractor-mounted sprayer