Wellness in Tough Times

I N T ROD U C T I O N

By Soni Cochran

Welcome to “Wellness in Tough Times Toolkit.” Join us in “Starting the Conversation” around mental well-being! This eFieldbook is a toolkit of resources, stories, and lessons learned as our team and partners navigated the Wellness in Tough Times (WTT) project supporting Nebraskans affected by multiple stressors: The continuing downturn in the agricultural economy, a year of record-breaking disasters that impacted Nebraskans from border-to-border, and a global pandemic created challenges that took us all into uncharted waters as we worked to achieve project outcomes.

Throughout this project, we tapped into creative thinkers, we adjusted, and we used the assessments and community survey data to re-imagine critical outreach efforts. In collaboration with the community advocates in our WTT pilot locations, and with the generosity of and commitment from project funders, colleagues, and partner agencies, we were able to meet rural residents where they live even during periods when we could not be face to face. We have highlighted a few of these efforts in this eFieldbook. The stigma associated with asking for help in rural areas and the lack of access to mental health resources

“Worried!” by photoloni is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .

compounded all the challenges Nebraskans have been facing from disaster impacts and pandemic isolation. The WTT project strives to empower and strengthen the resiliency of individuals and families in communities by promoting opportunities to “Start the Conversation” around mental well-being. Project outcomes include: 1. increased mental health awareness

2. decreased behavioral health stigma

3. increased use and/or awareness of behavioral health support resources

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