With all that our farmers and ranchers go through on a daily basis, the last thing on their minds is mental health. Fuel prices are all over the map, cattle and grain prices are sluggish, and mother nature is not helping with all the drought conditions around the region.

TSM Media Center
TSM Media Center

All involved in the farming and ranching industries are feeling the pressure and daily struggles on a daily basis. Now is a great time to learn how to recognize signs of both mental health and substance abuse issues in yourself and those around you.

The Williston Chamber of Commerce is holding an Ag Focused Mental Health First Aid Certification on Monday, December 12 at the NDSU Research Extension Center just west of town. You will build skills and confidence you need to reach out and provide initial support to those who are struggling. You will also learn how to help connect them to appropriate support.

After the course, you will be able to:

  • Recognize common signs and symptoms of mental health challenges.

  • Recognize common signs and symptoms of substance use challenges.

  • Understand how to interact with a person in crisis.

  • Know how to connect a person with help.

  • Use self-care tools and techniques.

This course will feature Calli Thorne, a facilitator of mental health first aid. She works on her family's farm and ranch in the Watford City area as a fourth generation farmer and rancher. She and her husband have three children, run a cow/calf operation, sell some beef, and raise a few yearlings. Calli has the history and upbringing to be familiar with and understand all the difficulties associated with an ag business. She is also a mental health first aid facilitator.

This one day course starts at 8:30am. Coffee and lunch will be provided, but organizers are asking you to pre-register for planning purposes. Everyone is invited to attend the free workshop, especially those who have any involvement with the agriculture industry.

In order to register for the course, click here. The chamber encourages you to share this information with anyone in the agricultural industry that might benefit from the certification. This is the first annual event like this, and some great sponsors stepped up for this very important cause. Thanks to Western Cooperative Credit Union, NDSU - Williams County, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative and Homestead Wind.

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