With the shorter, cooler days of winter around the corner, now is an important time to prioritize your physical and mental health. This month, Land O’Lakes is pleased to roll out a new program for members, in partnership with Empathia, Inc., focused on helping you and your family members access services to promote your well-being. The program, called LifeMatters, includes a portal of wellness articles to explore and a 24/7 hotline.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated physical health concerns in obvious ways. It has taken its toll on our psychological and emotional health, too. Markets are particularly volatile, and our members have had to adapt,” says Glenda Gehl of member relations. “The hotline might be the most important part of LifeMatters. It can quickly connect members or their families to trained counselors — for a number of life’s issues.”
Here’s what members need to know about the new hotline.
1. Jot down this number: 1-800-634-6433.
Starting November 1, 2020, members and their family members can call the number, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to access services. Professional counselors are available at all times to provide assistance to you and your family members for a wide variety of issues, from emotional and stress related issues, to alcohol and drug abuse problems, to family needs. To get full access to services, indicate that you are a Land O’Lakes Member to the counselor who picks up the call. No one will be turned away from the hotline.
Keep in mind, this hotline is replacing the old one. Members can now expect their call to be answered by a human within the first two rings.
2. …And your password for MyLifeMatters.com — it’s simply “LOL”
In addition to the hotline, you can access LifeMatters resources through their website, www.mylifematters.com. When you visit the site you’ll be prompted to enter your company password. Enter LOL, in all caps, to access educational information, useful links, self-assessments and more. You will also have the option to create your own personal account, which will provide access to even more trainings and webinar (at no cost).
3. Counselors on the line can help in the short-term and long-term.
When you call the hotline to speak with a counselor, a person will first lead you through an intake process to better understand your need and to help navigate the resources available through the program. Each member can access six face-to-face (or video call) counseling sessions for free per year per issue. These services are also available for free for your dependents and anyone residing in your household. If more than six sessions or additional services are recommended, the counselor will assist you with finding providers covered by your insurance plan.
4. No request is too small.
In addition to counseling services, the LifeMatters portal and hotline provide an array of resources for you and your family members related to personal finances, health and nutrition, family needs and some convenience services. The counselors on the line can help make everyday needs and life planning easier. For instance, they can help you locate a nutritionist, or, navigate family services such as child care, elder care and adoption.
“Counselors are there to help, even if you wouldn’t call your situation ‘a crisis,’” says Gehl. “And often, calling for these services is a foot in the door. It helps normalize the notion that it’s okay to receive help. We all need each other.”
5. More resources are out there.
As always, if you want more options to speak to someone, or if you want to share mental health resources with a friend, there are additional local and national programs listed here.
Gehl recommends, “I would encourage everyone to make a plan for their mental health. It doesn’t have to be long and involved, just answer for yourself: Where will I keep this number if I need it? And, try logging into the website to make sure you at least know what’s available there.”
As a farmer-owned cooperative, we recognize the unique stressors among farmers and have worked toward destigmatizing mental health in rural communities. While Land O'Lakes isn't a health care provider, we can use our vast network to connect our members to people who are. You may not need assistance now, but if you or a family member needs help in the future, LifeMatters is always there.