sowing the seeds of hope
"Thanks to your organization we
are a family again, a family that can communicate. We are
still making changes but we all feel less stressed, and more like
the farmers we were meant to be."
The Sowing the Seeds of Hope program (1999-2010)provided behavioral health services to uninsured, underinsured and other at-risk farm and ranch families and agricultural workers. Seven states (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin) formed the regional program in 1999.
The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health and Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association designed and initiated the SSoH project. The project was supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Rural Health Policy, Bureau of Primary Health Care, state and federal appropriations and private contributions. AgriWellness, Inc., a nonprofit organization, provided administrative services.
SSoH accomplishments include:
SSoH work has been featured on ABC and CNN television broadcasts and National Public Radio and Farm Bureau radio programs. Despite droughts, floods and ongoing economic challenges to family-sized farming operations, the suicide rate has not increased in states that have had SSoH services, whereas during the farm crisis of the 1980’s suicide and violence increased dramatically.
The SSoH model has been selected as a “best practice model” which is included in Rural Healthy People 2010: A Companion Document to Healthy People 2010.
The SSoH program was selected for inclusion in a compendium of model rural health programs published by the National Rural Health Association entitled Hope in the Face of Challenge