Spencer, Iowa — A Spencer-based organization that helps people with mental issues across northwest Iowa has received a grant to help prevent suicides.
Kim Scorza is the CEO of Seasons Center for Behavioral Health. She tells us about the grant.
(as said:) “We were presented an opportunity to apply for a federal grant back… I believe in March…March or April…and maybe even May. I think was May actually… It was a short turnaround time and one of the things that we’ve been noticing across the country and the feds have been noticing is that there’s an increase in suicide and that was even prior to COVID but COVID kind of exacerbated things. And so we looked at the different types of populations that we’ve seen…individuals being more at risk for the potential for death by suicide and we wrote a federal grant and we were just awarded that grant and it’s $800,000 for 16 months. And we have three subpopulations of the general population that we’re really going to be focusing in on which is domestic violence victims, farmers, and ag-related workers and then also our immigrants and refugees.”
Scorza tells us how the grant will be implemented.
(As said:) “Basically, there’s a couple different components of the grant. One of it is actually to provide direct services to those populations and the general population as well. But then we’re also really going to be focusing on training and educating our mental health providers within our service area and then also being able to really promote prevention. It is trying to reach out to people through media campaigns and things like that to really focus in on — that there is help available and there’s treatment available, and that people can access services and letting people know that there are resources that can help them because one of the things that oftentimes happens is people just don’t know where to go to get help and that they feel really hopeless and so being able to get a broad amount of exposure to people to say there is help available and here’s how to go about doing that as well as training people…more people to have an understanding — what to really look for to help those who are really struggling with thoughts of suicide or who even have acted to attempt suicide.”
According to Scorza, the nine-county area served under this grant includes Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, and Sioux counties. For more information on Seasons’ services, you can visit www.seasonscenter.org  or call 1-800-242-5101.