Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Rural Mental Health and the Farm Family Resource Initiative

Initiated through the legislative leadership of Senator Bennett, the Farm Family Resource Initiative is a program of SIU School of Medicine and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The SIU School of Medicine’s Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development built a statewide network of support and resources for Illinois farm families, starting in six counties: Christian, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Morgan and Sangamon.

Area farmers who need someone to talk to about the everyday stresses of farming and pandemic-related challenges can access the helpline at 1-833-FARM-SOS.

Success with the program and more funding has led to the development of a statewide program. The Illinois Department of Agriculture and the SIU School of Medicine’s Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development are now partnering with the University of Illinois Extension to bring programs to all Illinoisans involved in agriculture. Program services currently include a helpline (1-833-FARM-SOS) that connects farmers to health professionals, webinars, and online resources.

FFRI hopes to have a texting/email option up and running by this spring so users have another way to seek help. This program is simple and free. FFRI contracts with Memorial Behavioral Health in Springfield, IL. The call center is staffed by bachelor and master level mental health professionals who are available 24/7. This means you are talking to people living in Illinois who can relate to the local economy, weather, COVID statistics, and other daily stressors that might be specific to Illinois.

Champaign County Farm Bureau
801 N Country Fair Dr
Champaign IL 61821