During the 2021 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois this week, state officials led by Gov. JB Pritzker announced a grant award of $500,000 to increase farmer stress-related mental health initiatives statewide. The Illinois Department of Agriculture applied for the grant in coordination with Southern Illinois University Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development and University of Illinois Extension.
In 2019 the Farm Family Resource Initiative (FFRI) was established in Illinois to specifically address mental health needs of the farming and agricultural communities. The FFRI Committee consists of members from government, commodity groups, academic institutions, healthcare and industry. Led by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, the FFRI launched a six-county pilot program to provide resources to Christian, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Morgan and Sangamon counties through a telephone hotline connecting farmers with mental health resources and providers. This grant will allow for the expansion of the pilot program to the entire state.
“I’m proud to expand our Farm Family Resource Initiative to all 102 of our counties to ensure our rural communities are getting the care they deserve,” said Pritzker.FPS21 Ill Gov. JB Pritzker press conference (26:35)