According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide remains a significant public health concern and is among the top ten causes of death nationwide. Suicide rates in rural areas are higher than in urban settings and that gap has steadily increased over the past ten years. In addition, farmers have been identified as a high-risk population, with suicide rates consistently above those of the general population. Farm work includes many factors that are also related to suicide risk, including economic volatility, social isolation, and managing chronic pain.
The video below includes information about QPR training, an evidence-based suicide prevention program that empowers community members, bystanders, co-workers, and loved ones to intervene and help prevent suicide. Suicide is a difficult topic to talk about, but experts note that talking about suicide is an important part of prevention. In addition, Mental Health First Aid training is a program that helps bystanders identify and respond to signs of mental illness.
Suicide prevention specialists and mental health care providers talk about suicide prevention in rural Iowa:
Iowa Resources for Suicide Prevention and Support:
Mental Health First Aid is another evidence-based training that helps community members identify and respond to signs of mental illness. Click Here to find a Mental Health First Aid training near you.
Talk Saves Lives presentation from the Iowa Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Contact Joani Moller at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515)508-0195 to have a Talk Saves Lives presentation in your community.
CommUnity Crisis Trainings offers a variety of trauma-informed care, suicide prevention, and suicide intervention trainings. For more information on the trainings contact email@example.com.
Iowa Suicide Bereavement Support statewide resources
Help Farmers Cope With Stress, Iowa State Extension
Why are America’s Farmers Killing Themselves, The Guardian
Coping with Stress and Common Responses to Stress, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
2-1-1 United Way Information & Referral Dial 211
Free confidential information and referral helpline that connects people of all ages and from all communities, to health and human services (180 languages are available). Available 24/7.
Children & Families of Iowa (515) 288-1981
Offers a complete range of out-patient mental health services to support individuals and families wishing to address mental health issues, improve parenting skills and gain perspective in order to reach their goals. Services are available in the Des Moines area, as well as in Ankeny, Fort Dodge, Osceola, and Ottumwa.
CommUnity Crisis Services 1-855-325-4296 (call or text); (319) 351-0140 (local)
Provides immediate and non-judgmental support for individuals facing emotional, food, or financial crisis through their Crisis Services, Food Bank, and Basic Needs programs. Available 24/7.
Disability Rights IOWA 1-800-779-2502
Defends and promotes the right of Iowans who have disabilities and mental illness through a program of self advocacy education, information and referral, and both non-legal and legal systems advocacy.
Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746
Provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This is a toll-free, multilingual, Spanish/deaf, hard of hearing support line. Available 24/7.
Family Caregiver Alliance 1-800-445-8106
Provides services and support to family caregivers of adults with physical and cognitive impairments, such as Parkinson’s, stroke, Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Services include assessment, care planning, direct care skills, wellness programs, respite services, and legal/financial consultation vouchers.
The American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union have teamed up to bring attention to the opioid epidemic and provide information and resources to help those struggling with opioid abuse.
Foundation 2 Crisis Line 1-800-332-4224; (319) 362-2174 in Cedar Rapids
Provides trained, compassionate telephone counselors to assist Iowans dealing with a crisis, including suicide, divorce, serious illness, problems with friends/family, financial stresses, or substance abuse. Available 24/7.
Iowa Crisis Chat 1-855-325-4296 (call or text)
Free instant-messaging service that offers online emotional support for anyone in need. Available from 9:00 am to 2:00 am central time, seven days a week. Outside of hours of operation, the link will connect you to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 24/7 chat.
Iowa COMPASS 1-800-779-2001
Iowa COMPASS is Iowa’s information and referral service for people with disabilities, their families, service providers, and other members of the community. Iowa COMPASS maintains information on over 5,500 local, state, and national agencies and programs. Phone line is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Iowa Concern 1-800-447-1985
A program of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach serving rural and urban Iowans on topics including legal, financial, stress and crisis/disaster related issues.
Iowa Department on Aging 515-725-3333 (local); TTY 515-725-3333
Resources, tools, and support to enable Iowa Area Agencies on Aging to effectively deliver services and resources for people 60 years of age or older.
Your Life Iowa 1-855-581-8111 or text 1-855-895-8398
The Iowa Department of Public Health offers everyday life support on topics including alcohol, drugs, gambling, suicide, mental health, vaping and e-cigarettes. The website integrates information and resources previously found on three separate sites, the IDPH Suicide Prevention web page, 1-800-BETS OFF, and the Iowa Substance Abuse Information Center websites. The new system also offers a telephone helpline (all three previous toll free numbers will still be active), mobile-friendly internet-based communication (e.g., online chat), and texting capabilities.
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association 515 289-4567
Provides resources, referrals, and peer support to foster, adoptive, and kinship families throughout Iowa.
Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline 1-800-284-7821 or 319-335-6000 (local)
Trained advocates provide free, confidential counseling and support, as well as referrals to medical and legal advocacy. Available 24/7.
Iowa Victim Service Call Center 1-800-770-1650 or text “iowahelp” to 20121
A resource to victims and survivors of crime in Iowa. Callers are given the full attention they deserve on issues including human trafficking, incest, sexual abuse as a child, sexual assault, child physical abuse, teen dating violence, domestic violence, and more. Available 24/7.
Iowa’s Child and Dependent Adult Abuse Hotline 1-800-362-2178
Hotline for reporting suspected child or dependent adult abuse or fraud. Available 24/7.
Relay Iowa Dial 7-1-1
Hamilton Relay provides telecommunications relay services for the state of Iowa including TTY, Voice Carry Over (VCO), Hearing Carry Over (HCO), Speech-to-Speech (STS), Visually Assisted Speech-to-Speech (VA STS), Spanish and CapTel®.
National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpline is a free, confidential, treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Available 24/7.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Provides free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Available 24/7.
TEEN Line 310 855-4673 or text TEEN to 839863
A confidential hotline for teens, where they can talk, text or email with peers who have received specialized training. Available 24/7.
The Trevor Project 1-866-488-7386 (text & chat)
The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. These services include a hotline and online crisis intervention chat service. Available 24/7.
Veteran’s Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255; TTY: 1-800-799-4889
Connects veterans in crisis (and their families and friends) with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential, toll-free hotline, online chat or text. Available 24/7.
Youth Law Center 1-800-728-1172 or (515) 244-1172 (local)
Provides free juvenile court representation to Polk County youth and free legal advice to youth across the state of Iowa. The Center provides youth, and professionals who work with youth, legal information pertaining to areas such as emancipation, abuse and neglect, sex abuse, family problems, school, traffic, homelessness, chemical dependency, delinquency, guardianship/custody and teen parenting issues.
New Mental Health Resource Card
Updated Statewide Resource Brochure
Mental and behavioral health is an important issue in rural communities. Suicide rates among farmers remain higher than other occupational groups. I-CASH maintains a brochure with crisis and suicide prevention hotline information. The brochure was last updated March 2020 and includes statewide resources, hotlines, training information, and more.
Resources can be found below or download and print a brochure for distribution.
Suicide warning signs and resources from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.