The PROMISE Initiative
The PROMISE Initiative, PReventing Opioid Misuse In the SouthEast seeks to fight the growing opioid epidemic using a multi-phased approach to prevent prescription opioid misuse in rural Mississippi443 Mississippians died from an opioid-related overdose in 2020, a 124.9% increase since 2019 (MPDH, 2020). With Mississippi and the United States facing the worst increase in opioid-related deaths in recent years, the team of Extension professionals working on the PROMISE Initiative focuses on understanding all possible risk factors associated with substance misuse, mental health, and farm stress.
Topics addressed by PROMISE:
The PROMISE Initiative works to build resiliency-based extension programming in rural communities through: :
- Increasing community engagement, assessing the region’s perceived needs and readiness for education about opioid misuse, and implementing tailored programs to meet those needs
- Using hands-on extension education to build community capacity for understanding the opioid crisis.
- Developing and implementing media campaigns to encourage proper opioid use and disposal
- Identifying placement of prescription drug take-back boxes throughout the state
- Conducting Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid training.
- Combating farm stress in agriculturally engaged populations, identified as a common risk factor for mental health
This project is supported by Rural Health and Safety Education Grant No. 2020-46100-32841 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Rural Opioids Technical Assistance (ROTA) Grant No. 5H79TI083275-02 from the DHHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the MS Governor’s Education Emergency Response Funds 2020, and USDA NIFA Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network – State Department of Agriculture Grant No. 2021-70035-35566 from Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Extension destigmatizes mental health issues, one conversation at a time
When Colby Hardin first started working at the Arkansas Department of Corrections dairy farm, he prepared as if going to war.
In this "What's New in Extension," Extension agents implement better safety standards, train to deliver Mental Health First Aid, and receive national recognition. Also, new irrigation and specialists join the Extension family.