By David Brown and Demi Johnson–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
AMES, Iowa – Iowa’s rural communities and families may have moved on from stress produced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, weather related concerns may now be a larger factor contributing to farmers’ anxiety. In response, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering weekly, online “Question. Persuade. Refer.” programs now through August, said Demi Johnson, behavioral health program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. QPR is a suicide prevention program that teaches participants three steps to help save a life from suicide.
“Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone for help,” Johnson explained.
ISU Extension and Outreach will offer QPR on the following Tuesdays: July 6, July 20, Aug. 3, and Aug. 17 at 12 p.m. Each program will last for one hour.
Agribusiness professionals, agriculture lenders and bankers, veterinarians, vet techs, commodity group members, producers, social service professionals, and other concerned individuals can register at no cost for any of these programs. To register, go to https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/QPR. Participants will receive a unique URL prior to the program to access the Zoom hosted program. For more information, or to schedule a private group class, contact Demi 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, financial, stress, or crisis and disaster issues.
COVID Recovery Iowa offers a variety of services to anyone affected by 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. COVID Recovery Iowa will announce upcoming programs on the website and via all social media to help Iowans build coping skills, resilience, and emotional support. To request support, go to https://www.COVIDrecoveryiowa.org.
211 is a free, comprehensive information and referral line linking Iowa residents to health and human service programs, community services, disaster services, and governmental programs. This service is collaborating with the Iowa Department of Public Health to provide confidential assistance, stress counseling, education, and referral services related to COVID-19 concerns.