Recognizing the need for education that addresses social emotional and mental health issues faced by adults, Extension developed two different types of programs. Michigan State University (MSU) Extension developed the RELAX: Alternatives to Anger program (RELAX) to address anger management, and West Virginia University (WVU) Extension created Stress Less with Mindfulness (SLM) to build stress management skills among adults. At a national conference, the two states independently shared their programs’ objectives and delivery implementation and then later cross-trained each other’s Extension team. The research reported here shares the designs of both stress-reduction health programs and the results of a combined two-state SLM evaluation with 1,304 participants. The benefits of SLM included skill learning and practice. Recommendations for practice include state Extension services sharing curricula resources, training teams from each other’s states, and jointly implementing evaluation protocols. Extension professionals looking for established programs that help people gain skills to promote emotional health and stress-reduction may consider implementing one of these community-based programs in their states.
Tiret, H., Eschbach, C., Nichols, A., Smith, B., Riffe, J., & Clark Jones, T. (2021). Lessons from Two States with Extension Programs for Managing Stress. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 9(1), 7. https://scholarsjunction.msstate.edu/jhse/vol9/iss1/7
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