September 19, 2021

Oac Swim

The Spirit Of Health

Alive & Running cofounder talks mental health awareness during Suicide Prevention week

As we continue to observe Suicide Prevention Week within Suicide Prevention Month, KWWL asked Alive and Running cofounder Troy Belmar to join Today in Iowa to talk about what’s being done locally to prevent suicide.

The nonprofit holds an annual 5K each summer to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention efforts. Belmar discussed the ongoing resources they offer when not focused on the run, including training for what to say when something shares that they’re contemplating suicide and also mental health first aid for youth.

“You don’t have to suffer.” Mental health experts say suicide is not inevitable ahead of Suicide Prevention Week

KWWL spoke with the nonprofit’s other cofounder, Ryan Nesbit, recently to discuss the QPR training and local mental health resources. Black Hawk Grundy Mental Health Center’s Executive Director, Tom Eachus, also spoke about some of the recent efforts to prevent suicide by UnityPoint Health.

Mental health advocates, like Nesbit Belmar, continue to tell those in crisis that help is always available. If you or someone you know is in need or contemplating suicide please utilize the following resources.

Crisis lines:

Your Life Iowa – 24/7 crisis support in the state of Iowa (call, text or live-chat) Call 1-855-581-8111 or text to 1-855-895-8398National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call 1-800-273-8255 (En Español – 1-888-628-9454)
Crisis Text Line – Text 741741 for crisis help
The Trevor Project (LGBTQ Crisis and Suicide Hotline) – 866-488-7386
Veterans Crisis Line – 1-800-273-8255


Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center at Allen Hospital: (319) 234-2893 or 800-583-1526 

Linn County Mental Health and Counseling Services here.

Resources at the University of Iowa can be found here.

MercyOne offers mental health services, more details can be found here.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please seek help.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be found here or by calling 1-800-273-8255.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

This group offers support to those struggling with suicide, whether it is families who have lost a loved one to suicide or for those who have suicidal thoughts. ADFP raises money and works with advocates to advance suicide prevention efforts across the county.

More on how to become an advocate.

Learn about AFSP Iowa

Your Life Iowa

The Iowa Department of Public Health has created to help Iowans face problems and get reliable information, help and treatment options.

They provide information and services for people facing problems with:

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Gamblin
  • Suicide
  • Mental Health
  • Vaping & E-cigarettes

Call: (855) 581-8111

Text: (855) 895-8398

University of Iowa Counseling Services

The University of Iowa offers counseling services for students, for staff & faculty, and for parents & family.

You can find more info on scheduling an appointment here or you can call (319) 355-7294.

UCS and UCC hours are: 8am – 5pm Monday-Friday


The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Iowa offers a crisis hotline, as well as information on crisis facilities and other resources.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(800) 273-TALK or (800) SUICIDE

NAMI Information Line

(800) 950-NAMI

Aditional resources here

Trans Lifeline

Trans Lifeline is a non-profit that focuses on meeting the needs of the trans community through service, material support, advocacy and education. According to Trans Lifeline, nearly 40% of transgender Americans report having attempted suicide, nearly 10 times the national average.


Need to talk? Their peer support hotline is run by and for trans people. The hotline is available from 7 a.m. – 1 a.m. PST. Volunteers may be available during off hours.

US: 877-565-8860

Canada: 877-330-6366

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

You can find behavior health treatment services near you by putting your address or zip code into this locator on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations’ website.

If you’d rather speak to someone on the phone, call 1-800-662-4357 (HELP).

Veterans Affairs

Veterans can contact their local VA, which should help guide you to services you need. 

Military Crisis Line

This hotline is staffed by responders from the Department of Veterans Affairs, many of whom also served. The service is available around the clock and is confidential, serving current service members, veterans, National Guard members and family and friends.

Connect with a responder: 

Call: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1

Chat online

Text 838255

Support for deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889