AMES – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers virtual and in-person education programs to help Iowa residents identify and respond to a variety of mental health issues. Mental health first aid will be offered in December, January and February.
âResearch from the National Institute of Mental Health shows that almost one in five adults is living with a mental illness,â said Demi Johnson, behavioral health program specialist at ISU Extension and Outreach.
Mental Health First Aid is not a self-help program. Instead, participants learn how to help someone else who is experiencing a mental health problem or crisis.
âParticipants will learn to talk comfortably with their spouse, child, friend or neighbor about this person’s mental health. It’s not an easy conversation, but it’s important and can save their lives, âJohnson said.
Mental Health First Aid explains how to respond to a wide range of mental health issues including, but not limited to symptoms of depression and anxiety, panic attacks, and substance abuse, as well as when a person thinks of a suicide attempt.
âMany people face concurrent mental health issues. Understanding a wide range of disorders can be extremely valuable when trying to understand another person’s experience and helping them identify the treatment options that will be most appropriate for them, âJohnson said.
ISU Extension and Outreach will offer Mental Health First Aid for adults on December 16, January 26 and February 24. Mental health first aid programs for youth working with youth will take place on December 16, January 14 and January 28. To register for a future course, go to https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/MHFA.
Iowa Concern, offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, provides confidential access to stress counselors and legal education attorney, 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’s services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, free of 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-to-one stress counselor in a secure environment. Or send an email to an expert regarding legal, financial, stress or crisis and disaster issues.
COVID Recovery Iowa offers a variety of services to anyone affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual Advisors and Consultants provide advice, family financial counseling, farm financial counseling, referral information, and help find resources for any Iowan seeking personal support. Iowa residents of all ages can join online groups for activities and learn creative strategies to deal with the effects of the pandemic. COVID Recovery Iowa will announce upcoming programs on the website and via social media to help Iowa residents build coping skills, resilience, and emotional support. To ask for help, go to https://www.COVIDrecoveryiowa.org or call the Iowa Warm Line at 844-775-9276.