The PROMISE Initiative
The United States, including Mississippi, is in the midst of a prescription opioid epidemic. Approximately 130 people die every day from an opioid overdose. The PROMISE Initiative, PReventing Opioid Misuse In the SouthEast, is fighting the opioid epidemic using a multi-phased approach to preventing prescription opioid misuse in rural Mississippi.
PROMISE Initiative activities include these:
- Community engagement forums assessing the region’s perceived needs and readiness for education about opioid misuse.
- Extension education, agent-led and peer-to-peer, increasing residents’ knowledge about proper opioid use.
- Media campaign encouraging proper opioid use.
- Placement of prescription drug take-back boxes throughout the state.
- Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid training.
To promote proper use and disposal of prescription opioids in Mississippi, information was gathered from community members, both in-person and through surveys, to develop and implement a social marketing campaign. The community-based research is also being incorporated into Mississippi State University Extension Service educational materials that encourage proper use and disposal of prescription opioids.
This project is supported by the FY17 USDA NIFA Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2017-46100-27225 and the FY18 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Rural Opioids Technical Assistance Grants (ROTA) # TI-18-022.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A health leadership team led by the Mississippi State University Extension Service has received a national award for its work to address mental health challenges in the state’s agricultural community.
Directors of the PROMISE Initiative will receive the Southern Distinguished Team award from Epsilon Sigma Phi, during the organization’s annual national conference in October. PROMISE stands for “PReventing Opioid Misuse in the SouthEast.” Epsilon Sigma Phi is a nationwide organization for Extension professionals.
When confronted with the need to change or adapt to life’s circumstances, people cope with the resulting stress in many ways. David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the domino effect of multiple changes caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic may result in trauma.
“Usually trauma is a major life event that leads to intense stress reactions,” Buys said. “But we are seeing so many changes in such a short time it’s a struggle to manage our feelings and thoughts without falling into anxiety and depression.”
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is doing what it can to make sure everyone in the state’s agricultural community knows there is help available when the stress of life seems unrelenting.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The teen years have challenged every generation, but resources and concerned adults are available to help today’s young people avoid dangers, including suicide.
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.