AMES, Iowa — Iowa’s rural communities and families are still coping with the uncertainty, stress and imposed isolation produced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial worries and unpredictable commodity prices also continue to contribute to farmers’ anxiety. In response to this ongoing impact, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will be offering weekly, online “Question. Persuade. Refer.” programs beginning Tuesday, July 21, said David Brown, behavioral health specialist with Iowa State University 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,” Brown explained.
ISU Extension and Outreach will offer QPR every Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. starting July 21. Programs will continue until Tuesday, Oct. 27. 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, feel free to contact David Brown at email@example.com.
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.
— David Brown, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
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