(Frontier Area Rural Mental-Health Camp And Mentorship Program)
FARM CAMP is a week-long summer program designed to introduce rural students who are interested in behavioral health careers to the field and connect them with mentors working in rural communities. FARM CAMP was first held in 2013 in Rushville, Nebraska.
“It is often difficult to recruit behavioral health providers to come to rural areas to live and work. And if we are able to recruit them, they often don’t stay. Instead of trying to recruit providers from urban areas, who will likely ultimately be dissatisfied with the rural lifestyle, we need to be accessing the incredible resources are already here in our youth,” says Catherine Jones-Hazledine, Ph.D., founder of FARM CAMP and a psychologist in western Nebraska. “These young people are amazing, and already have an understanding of the area and its culture, that will make it more satisfying to live and work here long-term.”
This year, the program expanded to include a week-long program in Winnebago. In addition to learning about careers in behavioral health, students learned about psychology, mental health treatment, and ethics and earned college credit through Little Priest Tribal College. When they weren’t in class, the students participated in fun wellness activities and worked on a PhotoVoice project about life on the reservation.
“With reservations in Nebraska, services are often limited and cultural practices of American Indian tribes may not be appropriately incorporated into treatment. The expansion of FARM CAMP to Winnebago allows students from the area to increase their awareness of the field of psychology while also promoting the importance of service delivery from a cultural perspective,” said Anitra Warrior, Ph.D., director of the Winnebago FARM CAMP.
BHECN helps funds FARM CAMP and is pleased to see more students from underserved communities around the state show and interest in behavioral health careers.