AgrAbility to hold Mental Health First Aid Webinar



DATE:              FEBRUARY 27, 2013 at 2:00 p.m., EST

SPEAKER:         Lea Ann Browning-McNee, Mental Health Association of Maryland


Farming is a stressful occupation due to so many unknown variables that farmers face – weather, market prices, crop diseases, insects, workplace hazards, and the many personal challenges that confront each of us.

Consequently it is not surprising that farmers are often at risk to mental health challenges.  Studies have shown that farmers experience one of the highest rates of suicide of any industry and there is growing evidence that those involved in farming are at higher risk of developing mental health problems.  The suicide rate among farmers in several studies has been reported to be from 40% to 200% above the national average and during downturns in the farm economy, it is significantly greater.

This free webinar overviews Mental Health First Aid, a national program that helps laypersons identify and respond to people who are showing signs and symptoms of mental illness or are experiencing a crisis — much as CPR helps non-clinicians respond to medical emergencies.  Webinar participants will be introduced to the signs of mental stress and specifically red flag behaviors, how to support a person experiencing a mental health problem and what steps to take until professional treatment is received.  You’ll also learn how to earn your certification in the program and how to bring Mental Health First Aid to your community.

This course will benefit a variety of audiences, including Extension agents, Agrability staff and partners, case managers, farm leaders, service providers, health organizations, agriculture professionals, care givers, first responders and the general public.

Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to learn from mental health professionals about identifying symptoms and risk factors and supporting farmers under stress.


Lea Ann Browning-McNee is the deputy director for the Mental Health Association of Maryland, the state’s oldest and largest mental health education and advocacy group. Prior to joining MHAMD, she was the outreach and development officer for the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, where she helped lead the launch of Mental Health First Aid- USA and created other new education and outreach programs. Lea Ann has more than 15 years of experience in public education and social marketing and currently serves as adjunct faculty at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. Lea Ann received her Bachelors of Science and Masters Degree from Towson University.



Please go directly to and register for the event.  The webinar is free but registration is required.  Also registration is limited so please register as soon as possible.

Information an accessing the session will be sent to registrants by February 20.  If you have any questions, please contact Ron Jester, Mid-Atlantic Agrability at 302-856-7303 or email

Leave a Reply