Suicide prevention program offered to farmers and agribusinesses this fall

AMES, Iowa — Although Iowa farmers may be preparing for the fall harvest, the stress they may face at this time of year may be more difficult to cope with. Extreme weather conditions, labor issues and time constraints can aggravate financial problems such as falling crop prices, rising input costs and increasing debt burdens. The stress can be overwhelming. In response, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach continues to offer “Question. To persuade. Refer to.” formations, 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 if they are thinking about suicide,” said Demi Johnson, behavioral health program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Participants also learn how to persuade someone to get help and direct them to the appropriate help.”

ISU Extension and Outreach offers QPR in September, National Suicide Prevention Month, and throughout the fall. ISU Extension and Outreach will offer QPR Virtual Classes from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the following dates: September 7, 14, 19, 21, and 28; October 3 and 19; November 2 and 16; and December 14. Private lessons for groups of 15 to 30 participants are also available on request. Pre-registration is mandatory 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 the QPR may choose to take the course again as a refresher. This provides former participants with the opportunity to improve their knowledge, skills and efficiency should they need to respond to someone of concern to them,” Johnson said.

For more information, contact Demi Johnson at demij@iastate.edu.

Other Resources

Iowa Concern, offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, provides confidential access to stress counselors and legal education counsel, as well as information and referral services on a wide variety of topics. With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities, and website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a 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 chat live with a one-on-one stress counselor in a secure environment. Or email an expert regarding legal, financial, stress or crisis and disaster issues.

Iowa Project Recovery offers a variety of services to anyone affected by recent local disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual Advisors and Consultants provide counseling, family finance consultation, farm financial consultation, referral information, and help finding resources for any Iowan looking for personal support. Iowans of all ages can join online groups for activities and learn creative strategies for coping with the effects of the pandemic. To request assistance, go to https://projectrecoveryiowa.org/.

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