Farmer Wellness Program
Each year brings its own unique set of challenges to farmers, be it weather, markets, supply shortages, changes in personal circumstances, or even public health scares. While some stress is a normal part of life, prolonged and increasing amounts of stress can have a negative impact on overall wellness, leading to depression and anxiety.
When stress levels are running high and you need someone to turn to for support, the Farmer Wellness Program can assist. The program is designed to provide farmers and farm families access to services that can help them navigate life's challenges.
24/7 Farmer Wellness Hotline (1-888-901-2558)
Whether you are exhibiting symptoms of depression or anxiety, having suicidal thoughts, or just need a welcoming ear to talk to, the hotline is available to provide free, confidential and immediate support any day, any time. While the hotline is meant for immediate support, hotline representatives can also make referrals to Farmer Wellness Tele-Counseling Sessions or the Counseling Voucher Program for on-going, long-term support.
If you are feeling suicidal, contact the hotline or 9-1-1 immediately.
Farmer Wellness Tele-Counseling Sessions
Farmers and farm families can receive free, confidential and unlimited counseling sessions from a licensed mental health professional online or by phone through the Farmer Wellness Tele-Counseling Program. These sessions can be requested by contacting the 24/7 Farmer Wellness Hotline (1-888-901-2558) or Wisconsin Farm Center Helpline (1-800-942-2474).
Counseling Voucher Program
Through this program, farmers and farm families can obtain counseling services from a participating mental health provider in their local area at no cost. Vouchers can be requested by contacting the 24/7 Farmer Wellness Hotline or Wisconsin Farm Center Helpline.
After requesting vouchers and deemed eligible, the requester will be provided with a list of participating mental health providers. When contacting a participating provider, voucher recipients need only identify themselves as Wisconsin Farm Center referrals and present the voucher at the time of the appointment. Voucher holders are expected to pay anything at the time of the appointment.
Anyone wishing to obtain services from a provider not currently participating in the program can approach the provider to inquire whether they would be willing to participate and ask them to contact the Wisconsin Farm Center Helpline.
Joining the Counseling Voucher Program as a Provider
Farmers and their families are eligible to obtain counseling vouchers covering one hour of professional counseling at no cost.
How it Works
The process of accepting vouchers is simple. After a farmer obtains vouchers from the Wisconsin Farm Center, he/she will contact a participating provider in their area and identify themselves as a referral from the Wisconsin Farm Center. At the appointment, the farmer will give the voucher to the provider as payment for the session. After the appointment is complete, the provider will provide information on the front and back of the voucher and forward it to the Wisconsin Farm Center to obtain payment for the session. Providers are reimbursed at a fixed pre-determined rate.
Vouchers can be used for either tele-counseling or in-person sessions that are at least one hour in length. Participating providers must be licensed, registered with the program and comfortable with offering counseling to farmers, or have a good understanding of agriculture and its challenges.
Joining the Program
Providers must be registered with DATCP in order to accept vouchers. Interested providers should contact the Farm Center at FarmCenter@wi.gov or 1-800-942-2474 to determine eligibility, and complete paperwork. Once approved, providers can start accepting vouchers immediately. Independent providers and entire agencies are encouraged to apply.
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