The coordinator of the Iowa Concern Hotline says farm issues that led to the creation of the service in the late 1980’s have been generating more calls in the recent weeks. Margaret VanGinkel says they’ve been getting around one-thousand calls a month — many are ag related.
VanGinkel says dairy farmers in the state are having some tough times as milk prices have gone down, and hog farmers have also experienced some tough times. She says about one quarter of the recent calls have been ag related, the type of calls the hotline was created for in 1985 during the farm crisis.
VanGinkel says last year’s disasters generated many calls, and the anniversary of the floods and tornadoes is also causing some to take advantage of the service. VanGinkel says the memories are coming back for some people and they are still "in limbo" not knowing what to do with their housing and some who didn’t sign up for FEMA help and now think that they should have signed up.
VanGinkel says the Iowa Concern Hotline can provide people with an outlet that’s free. She says counselors are good listeners for those who just need someone to talk to and if people feel they need some therapy, they can connect them with help. VanGinkel says some Iowans have been hit with multiple problems in the last year.
VanGinkel says some of the people hit by flooding have lost their jobs, and other callers are facing mortgage foreclosure after losing their jobs. VanGinkel says some people may be reluctant to call the hotline because they are independent — but she says everyone faces times when they need outside support.
She says Iowans want to help themselves, but there are times in your life when you need to talk to someone, and she says by brainstorming with the hotline staff, they may be able to find you a resource to help you. VanGinkel says there is a lot of free help available for those who need it. You can contact the Iowa Concern Hotline 24-hours-a-day at 1-800-447-1985.