Acres Of Opportunity

Personal Assistance Services (PAS) - Free Mental Health Resources for Iowa Farm Families 

Iowa farm families now have access to free, one-on-one, on-going counseling through Personal Assistance Services (PAS).

What makes this service different than others? 

Counselors have a rural and/or farm background or have been trained to understand the unique challenges of farm life. Thanks to the partnership between Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa State Extension and Outreach and Farm Foundation, these services launched in 2020 for free for Iowa farm families.  In 2024, services expanded nationwide with the support of additional partners such as the American Farm Bureau.

Who can benefit from these services? 

Counseling can benefit anyone who wants to feel better or improve an aspect of their life. Whether you’ve faced a demanding year in farming, want to strengthen family relationships, observed behavioral shifts in yourself or a loved one or simply feel the need for change, counseling offers a secure space to develop coping strategies and gain clarity in decision-making.

What does counseling entail? 

Counselors will talk with you about what’s happening in your life, what emotions you’ve been feeling and what thoughts may be triggering those thoughts or actions. They help you organize your thoughts and identify personalized strategies to help you handle challenging situations and thoughts as they arise. They aid you in creating a roadmap of short-term and long-term goals for improved mental health and overall wellness.

Learn more about these services in this podcast featuring Amie Merz with Personal Assistance Services (PAS) and Monica McConkey, a farm/ranch counselor.