BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — When discussions of mental health in the workplace come up, we often tend to focus on those who work and live in busy urban areas. But it’s extremely important to take the health of those in the agricultural industry into account, too.

With the recent weather patterns and rising prices of necessary supplies, producers, farmers, and ranchers may be experiencing their own struggles — and if you are one or are related to one, it’s a good idea to learn how to recognize signs of both mental health and substance abuse issues in yourself and those around you.

To help the agricultural community in North Dakota do just that, the Williston Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its first free Agriculture-Focused Mental Health First Aid Certification Course next month.

The Mental Health First Aid course is led by Calli Thorne, a mental health first aid facilitator, and 4th generation farmer/rancher. Over the course of the workshop and certification, participants will learn how to build the skills and confidence to reach out and provide support to those who are struggling. After the program, all guests will be able to do the following:

  • Recognize common signs and symptoms of mental health challenges.
  • Recognize common signs and symptoms of substance use challenges.
  • Understand how to interact with a person in crisis.
  • Know how to connect a person with help.
  • Utilize proper self-care tools and techniques

The certification course will take place on Monday, December 12, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Ernie French Center at NDSU’s Williams County Research Extension Center (14120 US Route 2, Williston). Coffee and lunch will be provided. Everyone is invited to attend the free workshop, especially those who have some involvement with the agriculture industry.

In order to register for the course, visit this link. The chamber advises readers to share the link with anyone in the industry they know who might benefit from the certification. More information about the Chamber of Commerce can be found on its website.