(as said) “Trained counselors will offer support and guidance to bullied youth who feel they have run out of options,” Branstad says.
The “Your Life Iowa” website and phone line is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Kids can even send a text to get help. It’s a joint project of two state agencies — the Departments of Public Health and Education — and Boys Town, an Omaha-based organization that helps troubled youth and families as well as the homeless. Tuesday was its first day of operation — to coincide with the statewide bullying prevention summit in Des Moines.
(as said) “(The website) will also serve as a go-to resource where Iowans can get information about how to be part of the solution to ending bullying and youth suicide,” Branstad said.
Go to www.radioiowa.com to find a link to the website and hear more about the bullying prevention summit. Branstad spoke to the crowd of educators and students for about 10 minutes, saying the culture around us “fosters a disregard for others” that can be dangerous.
(as said) “Incivility has become all too common in the workplace, in politics and on the road as well as in the social media,” Branstad said.
According to the governor, Iowa schools can’t solve the problem of bullying alone — they need the support of the entire community.
(as said) “Treating each other with respect is a prized value in our state, yet it’s clear that it’s time for this conversation to occur,” Branstad said.
Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds told the crowd at the summit that “all too often” adults are “unaware that our kids deal” with bullying and “dismiss it as just ‘kids being kids'” and the summit hopefully will “shine a light” on the problem.
Bullying and teen suicide are a topic of concern in northwest Iowa, and statewide — especially after the suicide of Primghar teen Kenneth Weishuhn this past spring.
Available 24/7, Your Life Iowa is a phone call or text away at www.Yourlifeiowa.org or 855-581-8111. Trained counselors will provide guidance and support about bullying, and critical help to youth who feel they’ve run out of options and are considering suicide.
“This hotline is another step toward building a healthier Iowa for our young people, but we are a long way from where we need to be,” said IDPH Director, Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. “It will take sensitivity and awareness by all Iowans to end bullying and to provide the encouragement and support young people need to see beyond the immediate and tragically irreversible action of suicide.”
Your Life Iowa is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health in partnership with Boys Town, the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Committee, and the Iowa Department of Education Bullying Prevention, Intervention and Reporting Initiative.