Iowa’s rural communities and families are still coping with the uncertainty and stress produced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Uncertainty about the future continues to contribute to youth anxiety. In response to this continuing impact, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering weekly, online “Question. Persuade. Refer.” programs now through April, 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 to help,” Johnson explained.
ISU Extension and Outreach will offer QPR every Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Each program will last for one hour. Programs are set for March 2, 16, 23 and 30, and April 6, 13 and 20. Private classes for groups of 10-20 participants are also available upon request.
Teachers, parents, childcare providers, coaches, youth group leaders, 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 demij@iastate.
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.
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.
Finding Answers Now. As Iowans deal with disruptions to their families and communities, this website at https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/disaster-recovery provides information to help you cope with concerns about stress and relationships, personal finance, and nutrition and wellness.
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.