Family members can receive six free support sessions
By Diego Flammini
More farm families in Illinois can receive mental health support when they need it.
The Family Farm Resource Initiative, administered through the SIU School of Medicine, launched in 2019 as a six-county pilot to provide mental health support for farmers and rural communities through a telephone hotline.
USDA grants and legislative work expanded the program to ensure it covered all 102 counties.
And now the program is growing further.
Farm families can now access some resources for free.
Six free telehealth mental health sessions are available to farm family members when they call the hotline (1-833-FARM-SOS).
“There is nothing more important than making sure every Illinoisan has access to the mental health services they need to live happy and healthy lives,” Gov. JB Pritzker said during the Farm Progress Show, Capitol News Illinois reported.
In addition, the state government is awarding grants to youth organizations who encourage mental health awareness.
FFA chapters implementing initiatives to raise mental health awareness and encourage access can receive grants of $1,000.
In total, 20 grants are available.
“FFA members are creative thinkers and know and understand their communities,” Mindy Bunselmeyer, executive director of the Illinois FFA, said in a statement. “I’m excited to see the unique ways our membership will look to tackle this challenge.”
Farms.com also has a list of mental health resources available.
The services in Illinois can be found here.
Click here to search for supports by state.