Following the great success of a six-county pilot program in Fiscal Year 2023, a state grant program that provides funding for mental health services for farmers has now been expanded to all 102 counties in Illinois. Through the Farm Family Resource Initiative (FFRI), farmers and farm families can access a telehealth helpline and access six free telehealth mental health sessions.
The program is also funding up to 20 grants of $1,000 each to support Illinois FFA chapters that put local initiatives in place that encourage access and increase awareness of mental health resources and overall personal wellness. Schools will be able to apply for these grants in the fall of 2023.
The funding for the program was obtained from a grant application to the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Farmer Assistance Helpline is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 1-833-FARM-SOS.