Rural Mental Health Summit to focus on farm sector support
Area agricultural leaders and health care professionals are coming together for a rural mental health summit on Tuesday, March 28, in Springfield. The gathering will provide opportunities to discuss the challenges facing farmers, share best practices to navigate tough times, and encourage relationships to benefit the families who feed the nation.
Jerry Costello, director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, will open the summit at 10 a.m. at the Memorial Learning Center, 228 W. Miller St., Springfield. Panel and group discussions will cover topics on common stressors within the agricultural industry, from both the farmers’ perspective and from the health care providers who support them.
“Farming is one of the most demanding jobs in the United States,” said Karen Stallman, agricultural resource specialist at the Farm Family Resource Initiative (FFRI). “We need to do all we can to help farmers when they aren’t in the fields. At the summit, we can learn more about their experiences and provide some collaborations and proactive ways to improve their wellbeing.”
Registration is $20, and includes lunch. For information on presenters, directions, registration and more, visit highmarksce.com.
The SIU Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development is hosting the event. Resources are available at its FFRI website, siumed.edu/farm. The group also provides a 24-hour helpline, 1-833-FARMSOS (327-6767).