4284.1: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Table 1

Abstract #7021

Farm partners: Reaching out to meet the mental health needs of the farm community

Christine M. Townsend, BA1, Joseph Phillips, MSW1, Susan Ackerman, RN, BSN1, Tara Erb, MS1, Jane Boyd, RN, BS, COHN2, Alice King-Ingham, MSW3, and John J. May, MD1. (1) Bassett Healthcare, New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, One Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326, (607)547-6023, nycamh_ct@hotmail.com, (2) Finger Lakes Occupational Health Center, (3) Mountain Mental Health Group

The Farm Partners Program, established in 1992, addresses the problem of occupational stress. Farmers and farm families receive a visit from either a social worker or an agricultural health nurse, depending on the nature of the problem. Demographic and diagnostic information obtained at the initial visit for each case was collected on the intake tool (designed to utilize the DSM-IV multi-axial assessment method). Contact information was tabulated quarterly. There were 217 cases in 37 New York counties (40% full-time farmers, 66% male, average age 47, 2-year-period). There were 786 face-to-face contacts made, 479 of which were farm visits (2,220 contacts total). The majority of clients were referred to the program by the agricultural health nurse (43%), prompting 53% of farmers to access the program due to injury or illness. The top 3 stressors were injury (30%), fatality (14%), and financial (14%) (n=177). Axis I mental health concerns were present in 18% of clients. The Global Assessment of Functioning (Axis V) score improved from 70.5 initially (n=183) to 81 at discharge (n=100). This data suggests that many New York farmers experience stress due to injury and finances, and that a community-based mental health program for farmers reaches farmers in need and provides a valuable service.

Learning Objectives: 1. Particpants will be able to list the top 3 stressors of farmers. 2. Participants will be able to describe the 6 main components of the Farm Partners program. 3. Participants will be able to apply the Farm Partners program model in their own program development

Keywords: Mental Health, Rural Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA