About Farm Family Resource Initiative (FFRI)

CALL OR TEXT 1-833-FARMSOS (833-327-6767)  email  FarmFamilyResourceHelpline@mhsil.com

The Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development (CRHSSD) is leading the effort to build a network of support and resources for Illinois farm families. The purpose of the initiative is to provide a range of resources including a helpline to assist with farmer and farm-related issues that include mental and physical health needs. Additionally, the initiative offers ongoing outreach, education and training to rural clients and partners working to improve the health and safety of farm families.

Financial support for FFRI is provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Division of Mental Health and the Illinois Department of Agriculture in cooperation with USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

What is the Farm Family Resource Initiative helpline?

The Farm Family Resource Initiative (FFRI) Helpline is available at no cost to Illinois farm families.  It is a confidential crisis and support line that you can call or text 1-833-FARMSOS (1-833-327-6767) or email FarmFamilyResourceHelpline@mhsil.com 24/7. Phone calls have interpretation available. The Helpline is answered by trained professionals who can offer support and help you find mental health and agriculture-related resources in your area. Agriculture needs are unique – that is why our crisis specialists have received training on the factors that impact people working in agriculture.

How is the FFRI Helpline different than 988?

Both the FFRI Helpline and 988 offer the same quality of suicide crisis services – but our crisis professionals have extra training to know the culture, values, stressors, and lived experiences of farm families.   

Why do farm families need their own helpline?

Good mental health is good physical health. Social isolation, weather variability (such as extreme droughts or flash floods), limited access to health services, and fluctuating commodity prices have a direct impact on the mental health of farm families and farm workers. Stigma and privacy concerns associated with mental health may mean that many people do not seek out available behavioral health services. Knowing that the professionals who answer the FFRI Helpline understand the unique stressors and situations of agriculture can lower some of those barriers and might encourage farm families to reach out.

What happens when you call the FFRI Helpline?

When you call, text, or email the line, you will be connected with a professional who is ready to listen, provide emotional support, and provide you with resources.  

Who can call the FFRI helpline?

Any Illinois farm family member, worker, or Ag industry person can call the Helpline. We will not turn any callers away. 

Do you offer additional support?

Yes, The Farm Family Resource Initiative also offers telehealth counseling with SIU Medicine counselors for those in need of additional support. Up to 6 individual, couple or group sessions are available at no cost. 

How do I sign up for telehealth counseling sessions?

Call or text the helpline at 1-833-FARM-SOS or email FarmFamilyResourceHelpline@mhsil.com.

Learn more

To learn more about the Farm Family Resource Initiative helpline, counseling services or resources, call Karen Levitt Stallman at 618-713-0759 or email ffri@siumed.edu.

Remote video URL