Ohio State Extension – Ashtabula County hosted a successful dinner theater on April 11, which brought together community members to promote awareness and education about mental health. Guests were treated to a delicious dinner from a local barbeque restaurant and then enjoyed a performance that focused on the ways farm stress can impact our mental health. The performers used humor and empathy to convey important messages such as recognizing signs of changing mental health, breaking down stigma and encouraging attendees to seek help when needed. Afterwards, representatives from local mental health agencies spoke about the resources available to residents of Ashtabula County.
The event was well-attended. Attendees were impressed by the performances and the engaging nature of the event, and were glad for the opportunity to learn more about mental health in a fun and non-judgmental environment.
Andrew Holden, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator, spoke about the importance of the dinner theater: “Often times we get together for an event like this after a tragedy has already happened, and I am just glad we can do this in order to hopefully prevent it.”
A special thanks to the Ohio Farm Bureau, Farm Credit, and Centerra Co-op for their support of this event. Thank you to the 4-H and FFA members who offered child care.