Wellness in Tough Times

In 2019, suicide was listed as the ninth leading cause of death in Nebraska. Nationwide in 2019, suicide is listed as the tenth leading cause of death.

—C enters for Disease Control

When this project began, we understood that rural Nebraskans are a tough bunch and may not reach out for help if they are struggling. However, for even the toughest individuals, the strain on mental well-being can be overwhelming with the potential for devastating consequences, including suicide. Nebraska Extension and the WTT team continue

to provide educational programs for the agricultural industry and rural residents— programs like “Communicating with Farmers Under Stress” and “Question–Persuade–Refer.” These programs have taken place virtually and in person, depending on directed health measures from local health departments in Nebraska.

Wellness in Tough Times presentation Rural Family Stress and Wellness


Whether you are a university Extension professional, a health care provider, a member of a non- governmental organization, or an advocate in your own community, we want this toolkit to inspire you to create those opportunities to start the conversation around mental well-being in rural communities during blue skies. We love this example:

An Australian team working with rural locations devastated by brush fires were inspired by the “Neighbor-to-Neighbor” project and “Nebraska Extension Cares” resource cards. The team used this information to start “Tailgates4Mates” and adapted the wallet-sized resource cards so they could be shared at events in Australia. Read about their experiences.

On behalf of the WTT Team, thank you for helping us continue the conversations around mental well- being!

Outreach Highl ights By Susan Harris and Soni Cochran

Here are just a few of the ways we shared the “Start the Conversation” message around mental well- being and overall wellness. Some of these outreach efforts took place prior to the global pandemic:  Promoted awareness of the WTT project and distributed material to people at the following events:


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