NDA receives $500,000 grant for behavioral health assistance
LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Department of Agriculture has received a one-year, $500,000 grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture for behavioral health assistance for people involved in the agriculture industry.
“The amount of stress experienced by many Nebraska farmers, ranchers and others involved in agriculture has increased significantly in recent years,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman. “When you factor in the flooding of 2019, followed by the pandemic, along with other financial challenges, this grant will help provide much needed support for those seeking professional counseling.”
NDA will work in partnership with Legal Aid of Nebraska to administer a behavioral assistance voucher program through the Nebraska Rural Response Hotline.
“The Rural Response Hotline has been in existence for more than 35 years and has the infrastructure in place to efficiently implement this program,” said NDA Program Administrator Karla Bahm. “In recent years, there has been a steady increase in requests from producers and others in the ag industry dealing with stressful issues.”
Funds from the grant will be expended beginning Sept. 1, 2021, through Aug. 31, 2022. Anyone wanting to make a request for a behavioral assistance voucher through this program can contact the Nebraska Rural Response Hotline at (800) 464-0258.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to Colorado on Tuesday and Wednesday for events with Democratic Sens. Michael Bennett and John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Gov. Jared Polis, also a Democrat.
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