WKEI AM 1450: Digital tool targets stress, anxiety, depression
WKEI AM 1450 recently issued the following announcement.
Knox County farmer Drew DeSutter described this spring as a microcosm of the whole farming experience. Unprecedented planting challenges, trade disruptions and depressed commodity prices collide to impact his livelihood and that of fellow farm families across the state.
While those issues weaken finances, they also generate a significant amount of emotional stress. DeSutter recently learned of a way to manage those stresses with virtual support from the comfort of his home, shop or tractor.
DeSutter is trialing OSF SilverCloud, a free mental health tool for adults that provides assessments, exercises and strategies available 24/7 via app and website. Anyone who lives in a region with an OSF HealthCare facility can access this digital tool by computer, tablet or smartphone. There is no requirement to be an OSF patient.
“We take care of everything else – our livestock and crops – and we need to take care of ourselves, too,” DeSutter said. “You can use SilverCloud from the comfort of your home, and it is private. It’s especially something to look into if you’re experiencing an excessive amount of stress or negative thoughts.”
DeSutter finds the interactive tool easy to use. After signing up, the program first asked him a series of questions and then opened access to weekly modules on stress, anxiety and depression, whichever met his needs. The program allows users, who are not in crisis, to progress at their own pace and intends to empower users to take charge of their mental health to improve their well-being. That may eventually mean a face-to-face visit with a specialist.
“In rural areas, there are not behavioral health resources readily available to people,” DeSutter said. “I think farmers are tentative or a little bit anxious to seek out therapy, whereas this is something you can utilize from the comfort of your home.”
OSF HealthCare recognizes the nationwide shortage of behavioral health professionals and partnered with SilverCloud to help fill that gap, said Colleen Reynolds, OSF media relations coordinator. The digital tool also provides care beyond clinic walls, an evolving area of focus for OSF. Professional supporters monitor the program’s use, offer guidance and can communicate digitally with users. Supporters also will reach out if a user’s well-being prompts immediate attention.
“The OSF SilverCloud tool seems a good solution to provide 24/7 behavioral health services for people that they can access as they are ready to,” Reynolds said. “We’re desperate to get the word out because it’s free and Illinois farmers could really benefit. We hope it presents an easy option for some farmers who previously may have been resistant to walking into a medical office to see a therapist.”
Original source can be found here.