Dr. Lee Anne Walmsley awarded $28,500 for "in the barn" student mental health program

Posted: January 19, 2020

Lee Anne Walmsley headshotUK College of Nursing professor Lee Anne Walmsley PhD, MSN, RN, and her colleagues were recently awarded a $28,500 grant from Women & Philanthropy for the hCATS (health Colleges Advancing Team Skills) to the BARN (Bringing Awareness Right Now) for Student Mental Health & Wellness program. 

In partnership with the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (CAFE), the UK Counseling Center (UKCC), and the UK Center for Interprofessional Health Education (CIHE), this program is a series of training sessions “in the barn” to promote self-awareness, effective communication and team-based activities to raise mental health awareness and support students with depression and/or suicidal thoughts.  

Through Dr. Walmsley’s leadership, 100 health profession students will be able to attend a three-part series program to help destigmatize mental health and promote mental health wellness through Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) training and Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) gatekeeper suicide prevention training.

Part I of the program includes UK Counseling Center clinicians providing a 1.5- to 2-hour QPR training for new gatekeepers; Part II includes CAFÉ faculty/staff providing a 6-hour Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) session; and Part III includes a 2.5-hour session with UK CIHE and UK Counseling Center faculty/staff integrating EAL self-discoveries (self-awareness, effective communication, and confidence) with additional QPR role-playing scenarios as needed. 

At the completion of the program students will be recognized as “CIHE BARN Keepers.”  All QPR training and follow up sessions will include “Farm to Table Talks” where students will prepare food for team building, debriefing and presenting cohort project outcomes.