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Awareness of suicide risk is important for all

Part 3 in series

November 3, 2018
By Malisa Rader and David Brown ISU?Extension & Outreach , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

AMES- Suicide has been prominently in the news with the recent deaths of well-known celebrities. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), suicide is a major public health problem and a leading cause of death in the United States.

The effects of suicide are often felt beyond the person who acted to take his or her life. It can have a lasting impact on family, friends, schools, churches, work sites and communities, says Malisa Rader, a human sciences specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

In Iowa, the suicide rate has increased over 36 percent since 1999 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Iowa: High Risk


Iowa is also well known for a high risk industry farming, Rader said. "According to a 2012 CDC study, those working in the farming, fishing and forestry industries had the highest rate of suicide overall (84.5 per 100,000 population). This suicide rate was even higher than for military veterans. Farmers even have the highest mortality rate from stress related illnesses.

Find Assistance

Resources available for those who are distressed are the Iowa Concern Hotline or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Iowans can call the ISU Extension and Outreach Iowa Concern Hotline, 800-447-1985, for help and referrals for dealing with stress. The Iowa Concern website at has a live chat feature as an additional way to talk with stress counselors. Agencies and professionals serving individuals and families can contact local ISU Extension and Outreach county offices about Iowa Concern hotline number business cards available for distribution.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be contacted at 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress. It also offers prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.

Additional information is found at

The following publications can be accessed at ISU Extension and Outreach county offices or from the Extension Online Store,

Stress: Taking Charge

Strengthen Your Relationship in Stressful Times

Show You Care by Listening

Call ISU Extension and Outreach, Tama County for more information 641-484-2703.



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