REGIONAL—As communities across Iowa continue to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, mental health challenges continue to impact Iowans at alarming rates.
Suicide is among the top five leading causes of death for Iowans between the ages of 10 and 54 years old, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Additionally, over five times as many people died by suicide in 2019 than in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents — the most recent data suggests little to no improvement in suicide trends as Iowans recover from the pandemic.
In response to this continuing impact, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering “Question. Persuade. Refer.” programs to faith community members across the state through June.
QPR is a suicide prevention program that teaches participants three steps to help save a life from suicide.
“Faith community leaders often regularly encounter and can help individuals who are in distress or at elevated risk for suicide, yet many faith leaders have not had specific and evidence-based suicide prevention training that would be beneficial to their work,” said Danielle Day, a human sciences specialist with ISU Extension. “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.”
ISU Extension will offer QPR noon-1 p.m. Tuesday, May 4, and Tuesday, June 1, and 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Thursday, May 20, and Thursday, June 17.
Each program will last for one hour.
Private classes for groups of 10-20 participants also are available upon request.
The program is offered to support clergy, leaders and lay members of any faith community.
Clergy, congregation members, youth group leaders, volunteers 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 before the program to access the Zoom hosted program.
For more information, or to schedule a private group class, contact Demi Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.