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Indiana offers several mental health and wellness resources that anyone, including farmers, can use.

Joy McClain

November 4, 2020

3 Min Read
man leaning forward holding head in hand
SEEK HELP: If you’re feeling overcome with stress, Jennifer Sullivan with the Family and Social Services Administration says the Be Well Indiana website provides a place to seek support. Crisis numbers are listed. Go to Demaerre/Getty Images

Members of the current Indiana Ag Leadership Program class saw a need to shed light on the importance of mental health and wellness for farmers and those serving rural communities. On Sept. 28, the second annual Healing the Heartland program was held virtually.

Beth Archer, executive director of the Indiana AgriInstitute, says the program was planned by a committee of young ag leaders. The conference title was to the point — “Suicide Prevention: What to Know and How to Help.”

Related: Know warning signs of suicide

One objective was informing people of available resources. Jennifer Sullivan, secretary for Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration, oversees the division for mental health and addiction. She pointed to the surge in anxiety, depression and addictions related to the pandemic. By asking people to remain home during the quarantine, these issues were exacerbated.

“Connectivity is needed in everyone,” Sullivan says. “That’s why we quickly created online resources to help those struggling with mental health issues.”

Help in a crisis

The Be Well Crisis Helpline offers confidential support to Hoosiers, with trained counselors available to assist anyone, 24 hours a day, Sullivan says. Resources and services for food, housing and utility bill support are listed at the Be Well Indiana website.

While many people already tap into these resources, the confidential emotional support offered has been a valuable resource, especially for those who might not otherwise reach out for help, Sullivan says.

Included on the website is a series of videos that offer support tips and how to deal with triggers to stress, as well as opportunities to receive individual professional help. Addictions thrive in isolation, and the pandemic left many alone, without their usual wraparound of support, Sullivan explains.

The help line offers platforms that facilitate online connections with the ability to receive peer support in virtual settings. Telehealth services are more important than ever.

“It has been a game-changer for many, especially in rural areas and for those who would not reach out for fear of what others might think,” Sullivan says.

“Help us not only spread the word about the help line, but be aware of warning signs in your own lives and in others,” she adds. “Volunteer and make a difference, so no one suffers alone.”

Important resources

Here are resources provided to Hoosiers with stress and anxiety:

Be Well Indiana. Visit
Be Well Crisis Helpline. For help with stress related to COVID-19, dial 211 and enter your ZIP code; at the prompt, enter 3 to be connected to a crisis counselor.
Indiana 211. This confidential service can help you seek help for food, housing and utility bills. Dial 211 or text your zip code to 898-211, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time.
Crisis Text Line. Text HOME to 741741 to access a trained counselor at any time.
COVID-19 Medical Call Center. Call 827-866-0011.
Suicide Prevention Hotline. Call 800-273-TALK (8255).
Veteran’s Crisis Hotline. Call 800-273-TALK (8255).

McClain writes from Greenwood, Ind. Tom J. Bechman contributed to this story. Resource help numbers were obtained from the Be Well Indiana website. Indiana Prairie Farmer is not responsible for the accuracy of these numbers or content of these services.

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Covid 19

About the Author(s)

Joy McClain

Joy McClain writes from Greenwood, Ind.

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