CEDAR RAPIDS, IA—Pre-paid, ongoing wellness coaching and counseling services are now available to Linn and Benton County farm families. Families can get confidential support for a variety of life events via phone, text, live chat, video or app—in addition to existing sources of 24/7 help.
Coaching and counseling will be provided through Personal Assistance Services (PAS), which has been engaged to deliver its wide range of services directly to Iowa farm families. Farm Foundation, an accelerator of practical solutions for agriculture, obtained funding to create a program that will provide access to contracted, top-quality televideo and telephonic counseling and other resources to farm families free of charge. In partnership with Farm Foundation, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is raising awareness about the new services, which complement those already available to Iowa farm families. The resulting Iowa Farm Family Wellness Alliance hopes to grow its impact over time, bringing important wellness resources to even more families across Iowa and beyond.
“Farm families face extraordinary challenges. As rural entrepreneurs, they don’t always have easy access to the resources they might need,” said Shari Rogge-Fidler, Farm Foundation President and CEO. “We are pleased to bring a coalition of partners together to provide direct help, and to be working with ISU Extension and Outreach to get the word out to Iowa farm families that these valuable, pre-paid services are available to them.”
Through one-on-one intervention, PAS professionals are available to help all generations of farm families with a wide variety of life challenges, including: health and nutrition; tobacco cessation; organization and time management; career and retirement planning; child care and elder care; anxiety, depression, stress, addictions, substance use and more.
The new services complement those already available through the Iowa Concern resource, which has been offered through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach since 1985.
“For 35 years, Iowans across the state have depended on Iowa Concern for free education, referrals and other support from ISU Extension and Outreach professionals to handle questions relating to stress, financial concerns, legal rights and disaster recovery,” said John Lawrence, vice president for extension and outreach. “We are excited that now many farm families have access to additional support in the form of ongoing counseling and coaching.”
Iowa Concern continues to be available to all Iowans by calling 1-800-447-1985. Families wishing to take advantage of the newly available pre-paid, ongoing coaching and counseling services through PAS can get started by calling 1-833-999-FARM (3276).
The Iowa Farm Family Wellness Alliance is a cooperative effort between Farm Foundation, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and other supporters to bring a wide range of wellness services to Iowa farm families. Free education and referral services are provided statewide through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Iowa Concern resource by calling 1-800-447-1985. Beginning in December 2020, additional free, one-on-one counseling and coaching services are available to farm families in Benton, Boone, Cedar, Clarke, Clinton, Dallas, Greene, Hardin, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Linn, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, Tama and Washington counties through Personal Assistance Services (PAS) by calling 1-833-999-FARM (3276). PAS services are provided free of charge thanks to the support of generous donors. For more information, visit https://www.farmfoundation.org/iowa-farm-family-wellness/.