Farmer mental health service revolutionized
A program offering farm-focused mental health services launched with financial support from the Iowa Farm Bureau in 2020 is expanding nationwide.
At the 2024 American Farm Bureau convention last week in Utah, AFBF President Zippy Duvall announced a new partnership with Farm Family Wellness Alliance to provide free, confidential, online mental health services to farmers, ranchers and farm families.
The alliance is supported by a coalition of more than a dozen food and agriculture organizations, including AFBF and Iowa Farm Bureau. It builds upon a pilot initiative started in Iowa by Farm Foundation and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, in partnership with Iowa Farm Bureau, following the 2020 derecho storm.
Access to services starts at Togetherall, a peer-to-peer community where farmers and their families can join an agricultural sector subgroup to share or read others’ experiences in a safe, judgment-free zone, backed by licensed clinicians overseeing the community around-the-clock.
Togetherall also offers a range of well-being tools, such as self-assessments and access to additional support services through a partnership with Personal Assistance Services. Families can access one-on-one coaching and counseling, including counseling to help manage anxiety, depression, stress, substance use and more.
While farming can be tough, no one should feel alone in their struggles, Duvall said. “It’s OK not to be OK, but it’s not OK not to reach out when you’re hurting.”
To learn more, go to www.farmfoundation.org/farm-family-wellness-alliance/.
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