On Tuesday, at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton announced a new initiative to improve care options for rural farmers and agricultural communities. Pritzker says the goal is to break down the stigmas of mental health.
The new initiative is in partnership with the Illinois FFA Foundation and the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
Officials said it is particularly hard for people in rural areas to acknowledge the need for help in this category and then to find treatment.
"By investing in the efforts that break down barriers to accessing mental health resources. Because if you're struggling with your mental health, it can often feel like you're alone and have nowhere to turn. And it's particularly isolating to carry the stigma and shame that prevents many in our rural communities from seeking help. But we're here today to make it clear that it's ok to not be ok," said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton.
The farmer assistance helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-833-FARM-SOS.
The announcement also comes with $20,000 in grants to raise awareness of mental health services.