Farm Foundation Announces Program that Provides Direct Coaching and Counseling to Farm Families
Program initially available in 20 Iowa counties, plans to expand
[OAK BROOK, Ill.]—Farm Foundation, an accelerator of practical solutions for agriculture, announced a new program to bring pre-paid, ongoing behavioral health services, including wellness coaching and counseling, to farm families in 20 Iowa counties via telehealth options including phone, text, live chat, video or app. Building upon existing sources of 24/7 referrals and education, these direct services offer farm families access to necessary professional support for a variety of life challenges confidentially, when and how it is most convenient for them, at no cost.
Professional coaching and counseling is provided through Personal Assistance Services (PAS), which has been engaged to deliver its wide range of services directly to Iowa farm families. Farm Foundation obtained funding to create a program that will provide access to contracted, top-quality televideo and telephonic counseling and other resources to farm families free of charge. The program is being launched in 20 counties, which were chosen due to the impact of the August 2020 derecho on farms in those areas. In partnership with Farm Foundation, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is raising awareness about the new services. The resulting Iowa Farm Family Wellness Alliance hopes to grow its impact over time, bringing important wellness resources to even more families across Iowa and beyond.
“Farmer health is one of the strategic priorities for our work, and being the conduit to bring these direct support services to farm families through collaboration aligns perfectly with our role as an accelerator of solutions,” said Shari Rogge-Fidler, Farm Foundation President and CEO. “On top of the typical stress of farming, families in the 20 launch counties are facing not just additional stressors from the pandemic, but also the fallout from the derecho. While we are beginning in these counties, we are actively seeking additional partners to help us scale this program to reach farmers across Iowa and eventually nationwide.”
PAS professionals are available to help all generations of farm families with many life challenges, including: health and nutrition; tobacco cessation; organization and time management; career and retirement planning; child care and elder care; anxiety, depression, stress, addictions, substance use and more. These newly available services, which focus on one-on-one intervention, complement the education and referral resources already available statewide through Iowa Concern, which has been offered through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach since 1985.
“Farm families face extraordinary challenges. As rural entrepreneurs, they don’t always have easy access to the resources they might need,” added Rogge-Fidler. “We are pleased to bring a coalition of partners together to provide greater access to assistance for many different issues that impact wellness.”
Iowa Concern continues to be available to all Iowans by calling 1-800-447-1985. Families wishing to take advantage of the newly available pre-paid, ongoing coaching and counseling services through PAS can get started by calling 1-833-999-FARM (3276). The new free, one-on-one coaching and counseling services are initially available to farm families in Benton, Boone, Cedar, Clarke, Clinton, Dallas, Greene, Hardin, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Linn, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, Tama and Washington counties.
Learn more about the Iowa Farm Family Wellness Alliance at https://www.farmfoundation.org/iowa-farm-family-wellness/.