AMES, Iowa — As communities across Iowa continue to recover from the COVID-19 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, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Additionally, more than 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.

In response, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering “Question. Persuade. Refer.” programs to faith community members across Iowa. QPR is a suicide prevention program that teaches participants three steps to help save a life from suicide.

QPR will be offered from noon to 1 p.m. May 4 and June 1, and from 10 to 11 a.m. May 20 and June 17.

This 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 by visiting extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/QPR. Participants will receive a unique URL prior to the program to access the Zoom hosted program.

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For more information or to schedule a private group class, contact Demi Johnson at demij@iastate.edu.