A Look at Stress and Mental Health During COVID-19 and the Impacts to Farmers and Other Sectors
Summary: Hurricane Michael was the worst agriculture disaster in Georgia's history. The Department of Agriculture partnered with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and the Georgia Department of Public Health to develop outreach and educational materials to support farmer mental health in the state. This work continued during COVID-19. The Georgia Food and Feed Rapid Response Team (GA RRT) and partner agencies created a COVID-19 Food, Agriculture, and Hospitality Stress Workgroup to assess the impacts of stress and mental health across the nation through 2 online surveys. This presentation will cover partnership building, the evolution of farmer crisis resources in Georgia, and the development of outreach initiatives to inform food, agriculture, hospitality workers, and the public about the importance of the ABCs of Compassion Fatigue that includes awareness, balance, and connections.
Intended Audience: Farmers, Public Health, Medical Providers (human and animal health), Emergency Managers, NGO, and General Public
Objectives: At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to….
- Understand how to build partnerships for farmer mental health
- Understand COVID-19 Stress and Mental Health Workgroup project timeline
- Recognize Behavioral and Mental Health impacts to farmers and other sectors during COVID-19
- Identify Farmer Stress and Mental Health resources and outreach materials
Continuing Education is available for this webinar! The Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety offers 0.1 CEU or 1.0 contact hours of participation. This course is eligible for 1.0 CPH Recertification Credits and is sponsored by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, an approved provider of CPH Recertification Credits by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. The following groups of professionals have been able to use these CEUs in the past; Industrial Hygiene (CIH), Certified Public Health Professional (CPH), Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Nursing (RN, LPN), Social Work (LSW), Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT), Audiology (ABA), and others. Please contact your accrediting agency regarding any questions about receiving credits.
Venessa Sims, MEP, GA-CEM, BA Psychology,
Director of Emergency Management, Georgia Department of Agriculture
Venessa A. Sims, MEP, GA-CEM is the Director of Emergency Management and Asst. Food and Feed Rapid Response Team (GA RRT) Program Manager for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Venessa supports emergency management and homeland security duties for the food and agriculture sector in Georgia. She served as Unified Commander for the 2020 Final Four and Super Bowl LIII Food Defense Branch and as a representative of the Super Bowl LIII Logistics Committee. Venessa serves on the FDA FSMA Intentional Adulteration Workgroup as a state representative, serves as the Georgia representative for the Southern Animal and Agriculture Disaster Response Alliance (SAADRA), and serves as the Past President for the National Alliance of State Animal and Agriculture Emergency Programs (NASAAEP). She is a member of the Heritage Emergency Response Alliance (HERA). Venessa also serves as a liaison as the Emergency Support Function (ESF) 11 Coordinator for the state of Georgia and coordinates response activities at the State Operations Center (SOC) for ESF 11 during activations, ESF 11 planning, and exercise support activities, and ESF 11 recovery endeavors. Venessa chairs the Georgia Animal Coordination Group during disasters. She served as a member of the Georgia Agriculture Recovery Task Force for Hurricane Michael, the worst agriculture disaster in Georgia history and has chaired stress and mental health education initiatives for the food and agriculture sectors. Venessa is the Training & Exercise Coordinator for the Department where she works collaboratively with local, state, federal, and private sector partners to plan, train and implement exercises related to food and agriculture and public health. She has served as Exercise Director, Planner, Player, Evaluator, Actor, After Action Report and Improvement Plan Point of Contact for Super Bowl LIII, Georgia Public Library Service, Cobb County Libraries, HERA, metro-Atlanta UASI, DOD, GEMA, FDA, CDC, Biowatch, food and agriculture, water, radiological, public health, and laboratory exercises. Ms. Sims regularly presents at local, state, and national events on an array of topics related to food and agriculture planning, response, and recovery initiatives.