DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — A pilot program aimed at helping farmers and farm families struggling with stress-related mental health issues is expanding to serve all of Illinois. The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced a $500,000 grant from the the U.S. Agriculture Department during last week’s Farm Progress Show in Decatur. The money will be used to build out a six-county pilot program that connects farmers to mental health providers and resources through a telephone hotline. In addition to expanding the hotline to all Illinois counties, the program will add text and e-mail communication options and increase marketing of the service. A voucher program also will be created for professional behavioral health services.
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