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Your Life Iowa. Iowa ’ s Suicide and Prevention Service A resource for students, parents, and teachers. Your Life Iowa Support. Governor Terry E. Branstad Remarks to the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit November 27, 2012

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Your life iowa

Your Life Iowa

Iowa’s Suicide and Prevention Service

A resource for students, parents, and teachers

Your life iowa support
Your Life Iowa Support

Governor Terry E. Branstad

Remarks to the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit

November 27, 2012

I am proud to announce the launch of a new bullying and suicide prevention resource – Your Life Iowa. This hotline and website, funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health in partnership with Boys Town, the Iowa Youth Advisory Committee and the Iowa Department of Education, will provide help to Iowans 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Every student should know that if they report being bullied, adults will take them seriously and that other students will stand up for them in a nonviolent way.

Your life iowa partnership
Your Life Iowa-Partnership

  • Funded by Iowa Department of Public Health

  • Services provided by Boys Town

  • Additional Support provided by the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council (SIYAC)

What is your life iowa
What is Your Life Iowa?

  • Anti-bullying and youth suicide prevention service for the state of Iowa

  • Provide support, information and resources to students, parents and professionals;

    • 24/7 Hotline

    • Text Messaging Service

    • Website

Your life iowa services
Your Life Iowa Services


  • 1-855-581-8111

  • Trained Crisis Counselors available 24/7


  • Text TALK to 85511

  • Text Services available from 4-8pm, 7 days a week



  • Resources for adults and students

  • Online chat services

Your life iowa1

Your Life Iowa

Bullying & Suicide Prevention Overview

A resource for students, parents, and teachers

What is bullying
What is Bullying?

  • An unfair use of power

  • Behavior is intentional with the purpose of hurting someone

  • Behaviors are repeated over time

D efinition of harassment and bullying in the iowa law
Definition of harassment and bullying in the Iowa law*:

Any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait/ characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:

  • Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or property.

  • Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student's physical or mental health.

  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's academic performance.

  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student's ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

    *Definitions are currently being reviewed in the Iowa Legislature (HSB196)

Types of bullying
Types of Bullying

  • Physical

  • Verbal

  • Social/Emotional

  • Sexual

  • Cyber-bullying

What can you do
What can you do?

Don’t Blame the Target!

  • Individuals that are the target of bullying behaviors are already blaming themselves for what is happening to them and often believe they deserve to be bullied or that it is their own fault

  • Minimizing or brushing it off as part of life can increase feelings of hopelessness and helplessness

  • However, we should help them to look at their own behavior to see if there is something that they could do to help the situation & strengthen their sense of well-being

How to help the p erson b eing targeted
How to help the person being targeted:

  • Connectedness - belonging to a peer group

  • Hobbies/Interests

  • Relationships Building

  • Journaling

  • Positive Thinking

  • Goal Setting

  • Daily Routine/Self Care

S trategies to help the situation
Strategies to help the Situation:

  • Be with others (connectedness)

  • Walk with awareness/confidence

  • Walk away/ignore it

  • Avoid places/people/situations

  • Ask the person to stop

  • Protect yourself

  • Adult awareness and involvement

  • Model appropriate behaviors

  • Keep a record

Potential consequences outcomes of bullying
Potential Consequences/Outcomes of Bullying:

Research shows that persistent bullying in youth* contributes to

  • feelings of loneliness and isolation,

  • serious mental health consequences including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts

    *(those who are bullied and those who bully others)

Suicide behavioral warning signs
Suicide: Behavioral Warning Signs

  • Direct statements about their intention to end their lives, or less direct comments about lack of hope

  • Preoccupation with death or related themes

  • Sudden changes in behavior –withdrawing/pulling away from others or expressing relief/calm

  • Somatic complaints – persistent physical complaints in the absence of a medical cause

  • Any type of “final preparation” – giving away personal items

Suicide risk factors
Suicide Risk Factors

  • Previous suicide attempts – in 4 out of 5 completed suicides the person had made a prior suicide attempt 

  • Mental health issues – as high as 90% of those who have attempted suicide suffer from mental illness

  • Substance Abuse

  • Family instability/conflict

  • Exposure to violence or abuse

  • Authority problems

Protective factors
Protective Factors

The following is a list of protective factors that can help reduce the risk of suicide:

  • Family stability 

  • Problem solving skills

  • A sense of self-worth

  • Connection to school, groups, activities

  • Academic success

  • Relationship with peers

  • Seeks help from adults

  • Religion and spirituality

Awareness is key
Awareness is Key!

  • The problem of bullying is not new—the outcomes are more complex

  • Bullying does not cause suicide, but it may make vulnerable youth more at risk and may become a triggering event for suicide attempts

  • If you are aware of bullying that is occurring or are concerned for someone’s safety, speak up and ask for help

Bulling behaviors can be stopped
Bulling Behaviors Can be Stopped

Your life iowa2
Your Life Iowa

Hotline – 1-855-581-8111, available 24/7

Texting - Text TALK to 85511, 4-8pm daily

Website -

For additional information or resources contact;

Shellie Gomes, Program Manager @ or 402-498-3223