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Illinois Department of Agriculture highlights the Farm Family Resource Initiative to give farmers mental health resources

 Farm Family Resource Initiative speaking event
Benjy Jeffords
State Ag Director Jerry Costello with representatives from SIU School of Medicine and farmers highlight the Farm Family Resource Initiative at SIU

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is highlighting the importance of farmer mental health resources.

State Ag Director Jerry Costello was joined by representatives from SIU's School of Medicine to emphasize the importance of mental health for farmers.

The Farm Family Resource Initiative provides a range of resources including a helpline for farmers and farm related issues like mental and physical health needs.

Costello says the helpline gives farmers an alternative to seeking help while battling the stigma of reaching out for help.

“This is a confidential way of doing it. It's 100% anonymous. Many times in small communities when you're in these rural communities, people are worried about parking their trucks or their cars outside of a mental health professional's office. This is a way of doing it 100% confidential and anonymously.”

Farm families can access up to 6 telehealth counseling sessions at no charge.

The number for the helpline is 1-833-FARM-SOS.

Benjy Jeffords is a digital media production specialist at WSIU Public Broadcasting located at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org
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