Value of mental health first aid training of advisory and extension agents in supporting farmers in rural Queensland

Hossain, D. and Gorman, D. and Eley, R. and Coutts, J. (2010) Value of mental health first aid training of advisory and extension agents in supporting farmers in rural Queensland. Rural and Remote Health, 10 (4 ). pp. 1593-1603. ISSN 1445-6354

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Introduction: This study was a pilot project responding to the increasing levels of stress, depression and other mental health issues in Australian rural areas resulting from prolonged drought and a changing economic and social environment.
Methods: Thirty-two Advisory and Extension Agents (AEAs) attended a training course held in 2007 and 2008 in Queensland, Australia. A year after the training, data was collected to determine its value. Interviews were conducted with course participants and their supervisors and focus groups were held with stakeholders (farmers, agency staff and health professionals).
Results: The findings show that Mental Health First Aid training improved the participants’ confidence level and their knowledge of mental health issues and increased their empathy toward persons with mental health problems. Furthermore, providing training on mental health issues to AEAs was perceived by stakeholders to be beneficial to both farmers and AEAs.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that stakeholders and course participants see this type of training as very much needed and highly beneficial. Further, providing training in mental health issues to rural service providers can be very beneficial to their farmer clients and their social network.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © D Hossain, D Gorman, R Eley, J Coutts, 2010. A licence to publish this material has been given to James Cook University
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - No Department
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2011 23:26
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: attitudes; capacity building; confidence; farmers; knowledge; mental health; symptom
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160804 Rural Sociology
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health

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