AUSTIN — Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced that the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is opening the AgriStress Helpline to the people of Uvalde who may be seeking assistance in dealing with mental or emotional health after-effects from the Robb Elementary School tragedy.
“Many in Uvalde are depending on family, friends, and pastoral care to deal with these horrific circumstances. But there may be those who have no one to turn to; or may not want to burden those they know with what they are experiencing. We just want people in Uvalde to know that this service is available. It is free to anyone in Uvalde who needs it,” Miller stated.
The AgriStress Helpline was funded through a grant from the US Department of Agriculture, and created in partnership with the AgriSafe Network whose mission is to support a growing network of trained agricultural health and safety professionals that assure access to preventative services for farm families and the agricultural community. In conjunction with national experts the AgriSafe Network created FarmResponse, a 3.5-hour continuing education course that provides the full range of competencies necessary to provide appropriate mental healthcare for agricultural producers and their families. All AgriStress Helpline staff that answer calls have received training in FarmResponse.
“Uvalde, to those of us at TDA, is family. This is a farming and ranching community. When they hurt, TDA hurts. This is my way of offering additional help to the people of Uvalde – help that can be anonymous, if necessary. The folks answering the helpline understand stress, grief, trauma and stand ready to find ways to assist those that seek help,” said Miller.
“I always say that ‘Texas Agriculture Matters,’ and today at TDA we’re also saying, ‘Uvalde Matters.’ We stand ready to assist the good people here in any way we can.”
Uvalde residents can reach the AgriStress Helpline, in English or Spanish, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
–Texas Department of Agriculture