In December of 2021, McCracken County Cooperative Extension Service ANR agent Samantha Anderson reached out to the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention wondering what could be done to support those agricultural community members who had been impacted by the disastrous tornadoes which ripped through Western Kentucky earlier that month. With the recognition that rebuilding goes beyond that of the houses, farms and physical infrastructure which had been lost, Anderson looked to assist the region in honing tools to take care of their mental and emotional health. What was born was the FarmHand program.
FarmHand is a partnership between McCracken County Cooperative Extension Service, the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention & Eastern Kentucky University's Psychology Clinic to provide telepsychology services and mental health resources to Western Kentucky agricultural community members.
McCracken County Cooperative Extension Services is partnering with Eastern Kentucky University’s (EKU) Telepsychology Clinic to provide telepsychology services. EKU telepsychology clinicians provide clients with the same high quality mental health services they are accustomed to receiving during in-person visits. Therapy and assessment services include but are not limited to:
- Telepsychology services
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
- Sexual assault
- Traumatic childhood experience
- Psychological challenges associated with military service
- Natural disaster
- Therapy, processing, and support groups
- Grief and bereavement
Each individual case is screened by a clinician and a licensed clinical faculty supervisor to determine whether telepsychology is a good fit for that case. Their clinicians have been trained in farming culture and rural mental health. The McCracken County Cooperative Extension Service office provides a private space for telepsychology sessions to occur should an agricultural community member not be able to, or uncomfortable with, accessing services from home.
For more information on the telepsychology services provided, as well as how to schedule an appointment, please download this brochure.
If you are a prospective or current client, you will want to watch this video which includes a welcome message from Anderson and an explanation how accessing telepsychology services either at or outside of the Extension Office will work:
MENTAL HEALTH TRAININGS
In addition to telepsychology services, McCracken County Extension Cooperative Service is working with EKU’s Psychology Clinic to bring trauma-informed care and self-care trainings to those Western Kentucky “first responders”, including agents, camp counselors, paramedics, firehouses, etc. For more information on these trainings, please contact McCracken County Extension Cooperative Service at (270) 554-9520.