State Initiates Program to Help Farmers With Mental Health

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A pilot program to help farmers deal with stress-related mental health issues is expanding statewide.

The Farm Family Resource Initiative aims to improve the mental and physical health of Illinois farm owners and their families.

Karen Stallmann, an agriculture resource specialist at Southern Illinois University, said farmers have “many issues to deal with” and the pandemic “made things even more challenging.”

The program includes a telephone helpline, skill-building opportunities for coping strategies, and mental health first aid programs.

A $500-thousand dollar grant from the USDA was made available in response to a federal declaration of a public health emergency.