BREAKING: Illinois Expanding Mental Health Care Programs For Farmers, What Will The Impact Be?
BREAKING NEWS: Illinois is expanding mental health programs for farmers and those working in agricultural programs, Gov. JB Pritzker announced this morning at the Illinois Farm Progress Show, the nation’s largest outdoor farm event.
Farmers’ mental health is being addressed and helped by the new program, which is especially crucial during the spiking covid-19 pandemic, Pritzker said.
“No industry merges innovation and tradition quite like this one,” Pritkzer said, “and doing so while maintaining sustenance, which is integral for our communities. That is no small responsibility to shoulder.
“These days, there are even more challenges, not the least of which is the covid pandemic, during which this industry has kept going to the rest could remain nourished,” Pritzker said.
“The pressure has been intense,” Pritzker said. “And so, today I am proud to announce new investments to help farmer mental health and increase resources statewide.”
The Family Farm Resource Initiative is being expanded from six counties to all 102 counties throughout the state, while also increasing the number of employees of the service, expanding Illinois extension to address farm stress and identify programming and resource gaps to provide farmers and their families with the help needed.
“Make no mistake, our farm communities are the toughest of the tough, but when it comes to mental health, asking for help can be the bravest thing to do,” Pritzker said. “Mental health care is health care, and we take pride in providing that to all people.”
This is the second program in as many weeks Pritzker has announced regarding mental health care.
Last week, Pritzker signed into law sweeping new programs to overhaul the state’s mental health care system, including groundbreaking new laws regarding sending mental health professionals to 9-1-1 and 9-8-8 calls.
Under the new law, the Community Emergency Services And Support Act, Illinois is just the third state in the nation to now require
insurance to cover mental health disorders and substance abuse issues. It also requires officials receiving 9-1-1 and 9-8-8 calls involving mental health issues to include not just a police response but response from a mental health professional in addition or in lieu of the law enforcement response.
“The Community Emergency Services and Support Act, requires all Illinois municipalities to coordinate 9-1-1 and 9-8-8 services with the goal of prioritizing community care over incarceration or improper use of force when it comes to mental health or behavioral emergencies. In other words, it mandates compassion,” Pritzker said. “Mental health care is health care. That’s a vital component of a comprehensive and compassionate healthcare system, and that is what Illinois is now providing.”
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