Sauk County Extension Educator, Amanda Coorough, is inviting area farm community members to participate in a new pilot of the WeCOPE program series for agricultural community audiences. Thanks to a generous grant from the USDA through a partnership with Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), we have adapted WeCOPE so that it resonates with men and women involved in farming and related activities in agriculture.
The pilot sessions taught over seven weeks. WeCOPE promotes positive emotional skills for farmers and ag professionals. You will explore eleven emotional skills and practice ways to improve your emotional and physical well-being while decreasing the negative feelings and emotions connected to stress.
The farm-focused version of WeCOPE originated through a partnership with Dr. John Shutske, director of the UW Center for Agricultural Safety and Health along with DATCP’s Farm Center that works on farmer stress and financial and physical health and well-being. Shutske says, “Often, programs focus on telling farmers they ‘have’ stress. Farmers know that. WeCOPE instead focuses on high-impact, proactive skills we know that measurably improve one’s sense of well-being while improving all aspects of health. A person with less stress and more positive emotions can also more effectively operate and make decisions for success when times are challenging.”
This series meets once a week for one hour and encourages participants to practice skills such as gratitude, mindfulness, savoring, positive reappraisal, and goal setting. Past research shows that WeCOPE skills reduce stress and depression, increase positive affect, and improve health even in super high stress situations including among those with chronic health issues or facing other crisis situations and events.
These FREE sessions will be on Tuesday afternoons via live zoom, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, April 5, and 12 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and in-person on Thursdays, March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, April 1, 7, and 14 from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
In addition to learning new skills, we are looking for and encouraging participants provide feedback on our adaptations. Help us make this a great program that will support our Wisconsin farm communities as we work together to deal with the volatility, unpredictability, and high stakes challenges that impact farmer mental health while also building personal, emotional resilience.
Please find additional information and register to participate at https://forms.gle/5yjJJ4GVLPKEVCKN7 or call the Sauk County Extension office for more information at (608) 355-3250.
Contact Amanda Coorough, Human Development & Relationships Educator, UW-Madison, Division of Extension Sauk County, firstname.lastname@example.org