Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
MT. PLEASANT — The Iowa State Extension Office of Henry County prepares to address mental health concerns this coming February with community classes geared toward self-help, and helping others.
For many, the winter season comes with additional mental health challenges due to shorter days, colder weather, and a shift in normal activity.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, Major Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal Pattern (formerly known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD) is most common during the winter due to the reduced amount of sunlight.
Southern Iowa Mental Health Center (SIMHC) states that millions of U.S. adults will experience this form of depression over the winter.
With this in mind, ISU Extension Office’s classes “What About Me? My well-being,” and “Question. Persuade. Refer. Suicide Prevention Program” come at an appropriate time.
The “What About Me? My well-being,” class will be offered in Henry County on Mondays beginning in February.
A light lunch is available to class participants at 11:30 a.m. followed by class from 12-1 p.m. at the Henry County Extension Office.
The class will focus on four topics: Time for Me, Social/Emotional, Financial, and Physical. During these classes, participants will learn about areas of well-being, explore the impact of positive choices on lifestyles, and develop a personal plan for their well-being.
Also in February, ISU Extension will offer an in-person Lunch and Learn for suicide prevention on Feb. 9 from 12-1:20 p.m.
“Question. Persuade. Refer.” is offered much like a CPR class.
“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 suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help,” the ISU QPR flyer states.
With the launch of 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in July, the need for mental health services across the nation has become increasingly apparent.
Just this past December, 988 routed 434,033 calls and offered 62,378 calls to the Veteran Crisis Line.
“The 988 Lifeline data for December 2022, showed an increase in overall volume compared to December 2021,” The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states.
According to the SAMHSA’s stats, calls answered increased by 48%, chats answered increased by 263%, and texts answered increased by 1445% from December of 2021 to December 2022.
ISU Extension provides both of these classes free of charge thanks to the Quad County Decategorization Board.
Visit the Iowa State Extension office or web page to register.