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Feeling The Toll Of The Pandemic? Free Counseling And Support Is Available.

Researchers followed a group of kids from childhood into adulthood to track the link between trauma in early life and adult mental health.
fzant/Getty Images
Researchers followed a group of kids from childhood into adulthood to track the link between trauma in early life and adult mental health.

The pandemic has cost Iowans jobs, financial security, the health and lives of loved ones and the ability to safely pursue all kinds of normal activities. Many Iowans are struggling, but help is available.

COVID Recovery Iowa offers free virtual counseling and assistance to all Iowans affected by the pandemic, and a variety of emergency and non-emergency resources and professionally staffed phone lines are ready to connect Iowans with the resources they need.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by mental health professionals serving the state to learn more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, and for a look at available programming and resources.


  • Karen Hyatt, disaster behavioral health coordinator and emergency mental health specialist, Iowa Department of Human Services
  • Ash Roberts, specialty coordinator for older adults, COVID Recovery Iowa
  • Tammy Jacobs, hotline coordinator, ISU Extension and Outreach

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or are concerned about someone who is in mental health crisis, contact Your Life Iowa by calling (855) 581-8111 or text (855) 895-8398. If you are in mental health crisis and don't want to talk with someone but do feel like texting, text HOME to 741741.

The Iowa Department of Human Services COVID Recovery Programis offering counseling, referrals and other resources. Call the Iowa Concern line at (800) 447-1985. Language support is available for Spanish speakers. Call the Spanish Iowa Concern line at (631) 800-3687. If you are looking for Spanish speaking mental health counseling services in Iowa, find a list of providers here.

El programa de Recuperación COVID-19 del departamento de servicios humanos de Iowa está ofreciendo asesoramiento de salud mental y otros recursos. El soporte de idiomas está disponible para hablantes de español. Llame a la línea de Iowa en español al (631) 800-3687. Una lista completa de proveedores que habla español está aquí.

Stagnant crop prices, trade disputes and a lukewarm forecast for the next several years have left many farmers worried about what the future will bring. The Iowa Concern Hotline is a 24/7 free, confidential resource for anyone with concerns or questions about farm finances, crisis and disaster response and personal health issues. Call toll-free at (800) 447-1985.

If you are not in mental health crisis but just want someone to talk to, the Iowa Warm Line is an option for residents of Benton, Bremer, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, or Linn county. The warm line is a peer run, telephone based, non-crisis, confidential, listening line for anyone struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues. The Warm Line is staffed by people who have been through a similar journey and are in recovery themselves. Call toll free at (844) 775-9276 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

If you are in Linn County, Foundation 2 offers crisis counseling services. Call them at (319) 362-2174 for food, water, legal assistance and mental health support.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa