Mental health

courtesy / University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

The Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, a nationwide coaltion, is providing funds to help state departments of agriculture combat a mental health crisis facing farm and agriculture workers. The funding is the latest is a series of resources that the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is offering to aid the state's farmers.  

Courtesy / U of A System Division of Agriculture

Families worried about having enough food during the COVID-19 pandemic are three times more likely to experience anxiety or depression than those who have lost jobs. That’s according to research by three Arkansas agricultural economists that's been published in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Public Health.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has awarded Ozark Guidance a $4 million expansion grant to develop a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic program over the next two years. The funds will be used for outreach and new services for underserved communities, such as the Latino and Marshallese populations, in Northwest Arkansas.

As the Fayetteville Police Department launches its social work internship program, the Fort Smith Police Department is waiting to find out if it's been awarded a grant that would fund a part-time licensed counselor that can work on opioid and substance abuse related issues. That's in addition to the department's Crisis Intervention Unit, which was launched last year with two officers and the hope of expanding it to three or four in 2021.

Courtesy / Fayetteville Police Department

Earlier this month, the Fayetteville Police Department launched an internship program in partnership with the University of Arkansas social work department. Chief Mike Reynolds says the master's level intern will review department calls to provide a secondary response to people who may need services for mental health, homelessness or food insecurity. The long term goal is to evaluate whether the city might benefit from having a social worker within its police department.

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Mental health professionals are reporting more children and adults are seeking out their services during the pandemic. We speak with parents, teachers and therapists to find out how the global health crisis is impacting students as they attend school in person, virtually and everything in between. For more information about the free and anonymous Stay Positive Arkansas program, click here.

Courtesy / Kathleen Wong

Ketamine, an FDA-approved surgical anesthetic, is increasingly being used off-label to help people with treatment-resistant depression. Psychiatrist Kathleen Wong, M.D. is pioneering the treatment in Northwest Arkansas. She opened an IV-ketamine infusion therapy clinic in 2017 in Fayetteville. One patient agreed to disclose how the treatments have changed her life.

Project PPE/FEMA

Project PPE (Promoting Positive Emotions) is a free crisis counseling program designed to help Arkansans impacted by COVID-19 receive emotional and behavioral health services. The FEMA-funded project is administered by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health in coordination with local providers throughout the state. Arkansans can reach the support line 24/7 at 833-993-2382.

The state's Crisis Stablization Units are offering free telehealth support groups for Arkansans who've tested positive for COVID-19. Ozark Guidance, an affiliate of Arisa Health, is managing the support group at the NWA Regional Crisis Unit.

Changes to daily life prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic are causing stress and anxiety for many people. For tips on staying mentally well while dealing with uncertainty, loss and loneliness, we spoke to a psychologist from Counseling and Psychological Services or CAPS which is part of the University of Arkansas's Pat Walker Health Center.