|By BONA BRADBURY
MOUND CITY, Ill. — Created in 1985, the Farm Resource Center (FRC) is a not-for-profit agency that delivers mental health services to farmers and their families in a neutral, non-threatening atmosphere.
Building on the APPLE principle – accessible, professional, personal, linked and empathetic – FRC offers a family-focused approach to delivering mental health and social services to individuals and families who often do not seek these services. FRC provides individuals and their families with 24-hour access to their services via a toll-free emergency/crisis phone line that is staffed by trained employees.
This service provides both confidential emergency consultation and referrals to the appropriate venue. FRC’s services are aimed at increasing both the accessibility and acceptability of mental health and social services in rural communities while providing outreach to individuals, particularly farmers, miners and their families, who are in need.
FRC utilizes paid outreach workers who are not only familiar with the farming climate but are also familiar with the geographical area that they serve. These workers enable FRC’s services to be delivered to an individual at a location of their choice. Often, the location is the individual’s home.
This not only allows the individual to be in control of the meeting but also to reduce the stigma often associated with receiving mental health or social services. Additionally, the outreach workers’ familiarity with the area allows them to utilize volunteers as well as community-based services during their visits.
Adding to the in-home outreach approach, FRC relies heavily on an extensive volunteer network. Volunteers help to connect individuals in need with FRC and provide important access to community services and additional resources that may not typically be available to the agency as a whole.
Since FRC’s inception in 1985, similar programs have developed in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Illinois’ FRC is available at 1-800-NEEDFRC.
This farm news was published in the May 24, 2006 issue of Farm World.