AMES, Iowa – Floods or drought. Farm financial stress or family emotional concerns. Whether facing natural disasters or personal crises, Iowans can turn to Iowa Concern for help, says Tammy Jacobs, the new coordinator for the long-time service from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Jacobs is the coordinator for Iowa Concern and all other Human Sciences Extension and Outreach hotlines at Iowa State. She is completing her first month in her new permanent position, having served as interim hotlines coordinator since January. However, she has 25 years of experience serving Iowans through these one-on-one connections.
“Tammy brings a thorough understanding of the call center environment and the mission of Iowa State University, ISU Extension and Outreach, and Human Sciences Extension and Outreach to this position. I am confident that she will move us forward every day in living our mission of empowering people and growing lives,” said Debra Sellers, director of Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, and associate dean in the College of Human Sciences.
Human Sciences Extension and Outreach hotlines answered more than 38,000 calls last year, Jacobs said. Along with Iowa Concern, callers were contacting Healthy Families, TeenLine, 2-1-1, Targeted Case Management and AnswerLine, the extension hotline for home and family questions.
Iowa Concern available 24/7
With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. Iowa Concern provides access to stress counselors and an attorney for legal education, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics.
To reach Iowa Concern, call 800-447-1985; language interpretation services are available. Or, visit the website, https://www.extension.iastate.edu/iowaconcern/, to live chat with a stress counselor one-on-one in a secure environment. Or email an expert regarding legal, finance, stress, or crisis and disaster issues.
“All personal information given to Iowa Concern, whether on the hotline or through e-mail or live chat, is kept confidential,” Jacobs said.
She also suggests visiting Human Sciences Extension and Outreach’s “Finding Answers Now” website for additional information and resources on dealing with stress.
One call at a time
“It has been exciting working with the hotlines. The experience and opportunities that I have been a part of have helped me gain knowledge and insight. I am looking forward to helping to improve the lives of Iowans one call at a time,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs graduated from Drake University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a concentration area in juvenile delinquency. She began working with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach hotlines in 1993.
Jacobs can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-727-0656.