YourLifeIowa reaching out for two years

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t was 2018 when YourLifeIowa.org launched its effort to give Iowans a chance to chat live, text or call to get reliable information and treatment options and find help for mental health and addiction treatment. It's an integrated hub for free help and information for alcohol, drugs, gambling and suicide.

They say, “We are your everyday life support.”

The YourLifeIowa statewide crisis line is 855-581-8111, or texting 855-895-8398. They are also available on social media: @yourlifeiowa

The root of most stigmas is generally fear. The stigma surrounding mental illnesses in America is no different: fear of not understanding the problem, fear of doing or saying the "wrong" thing, and fear of not knowing what to do when someone needs help.

Mental illness affects many Iowans. Mental illness does not discriminate and can affect anyone.

YourLifeIowa acknowledges that mental health is hard to talk about. People around you may not understand, and talking to them might be challenging. At YourLifeIowa, the trained people on the line will not judge, will not break confidentiality, and will listen.

For problem gambling issues, YourLIfeIowa not only makes referrals to gambling treatment providers, but also assists with self-exclusion from casinos.

Last year, YourLifeIowa made 737 referrals and provided resources and information to 1,105 individuals. YourLifeIowa provided crisis support to 257 people through the crisis hotline, chat, and text support.

Three hundred ninety-five people were assisted with self-exclusion from casinos, and 284 were connected to support groups.

The website attracts about 49,000 sessions resulting in 127,116 page views.

In Iowa, suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 15-34, the third leading cause of death for ages 10-14, the fourth leading cause of death for ages 35-54 and the ninth leading cause of death overall. Six times as many people die from suicide in Iowa than by homicide.

Suicide is the leading cause of death among those with substance use disorders, and people treated for alcohol abuse are at about ten times greater risk for suicide. Alcohol is present in 30 to 40 percent of suicides and suicide attempts.

YourLifeIowa's solutions include access to effective treatment and care, problem-solving skills, connectedness to individuals, families, communities and social institutions, and contacts with caregivers.

Our newsroom believes YourLifeIowa is one effective resource for people who need help.

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