By Demi Johnson–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
AMES, Iowa – Although Iowa farmers can get ready for fall harvest, the stress they may face this time of year can be harder to prepare for. Weather extremes, labor challenges, and time pressures can compound financial concerns like lower crop prices, higher input costs, and larger debt burdens. The stress can be overwhelming. In response, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is continuing to offer virtual and in-person “Question. Persuade. Refer.” trainings, also known as QPR.
“QPR is a suicide prevention program that teaches participants how to recognize the warning signs of suicidal thoughts and how to ask someone whether they are thinking about suicide,” stated Demi Johnson, behavioral health program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Participants also learn how to persuade someone to get help and how to refer them to appropriate help.”
ISU Extension and Outreach is offering QPR during September, which is National Suicide Prevention Month, and throughout the fall. ISU Extension and Outreach will offer virtual QPR classes from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the following dates: Sept. 14, 19, 21, and 28; Oct. 3 and 19; Nov. 2 and 16; and Dec. 14. Private classes for groups of 15-30 participants are also available upon request. Pre-registration is required for all programs. To register, go to https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/QPR. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, award #2020-70028-32728, funds this program.
“We encourage farmers, agribusiness professionals, and others to participate in the training. Those who have already taken QPR might chose to take the class again as a refresher. This offers previous participants an opportunity to improve their knowledge, skill, and effectiveness if they need to respond to someone they may be concerned about,” Johnson said.
For more information, contact Johnson at [email protected].
Iowa Concern, offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, provides confidential access to stress counselors and an attorney for legal education, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics. With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities, and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. To reach Iowa Concern, call 800-447-1985; language interpretation services are available, or visit the website, https://www.extension.iastate.edu/iowaconcern/, to live chat with a stress counselor one-on-one in a secure environment, or email an expert regarding legal, finance, stress, or crisis and disaster issues.
Project Recovery Iowa offers a variety of services to anyone affected by recent local disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual counselors and consultants provide counseling, family finance consultation, farm financial consultation, referral information, and help finding resources for any Iowan seeking personal support. Iowans of all ages may join groups online for activities and learn creative strategies for coping with the effects of the pandemic. To request support, go to https://projectrecoveryiowa.org/