Mental Wellness and Brain Health

Find useful information to navigate student mental wellness and brain health with the following resources:

Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Regions Map

Iowa’s Mental Health and Disability Service (MHDS) Regions can provide funding for a range of services including mental health and community-based services. This map outlines the services available in each county.

Learn more from Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services

Division of Mental Health and Disability Services Overview

Learn about what Iowa’s Mental Health and Disability Services Regions do and what mental health and disability services they can provide.

Learn more from the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Mental Health and Disability Services Regions

Find information and data related to how Iowa’s Mental Health and Disability Service Regions work from the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services.

Learn more from the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

988 is the National Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifeline, similar to dialing 911 for an emergency. Get answers to frequently asked questions about the service.

Learn more from the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Mindspring Mental Health Alliance

Mindspring provides no-cost mental health education, support, and advocacy programs including free webinars related to mental health and support groups in the Des Moines Metro area.

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Mindspring - Central Iowa Local Resources:

Local mental health resources for the Des Moines and Dallas County areas including crisis stabilization, psychiatric urgent care, and inpatient and outpatient programming.

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NAMI Iowa is an organization of families, friends, and individuals whose lives have been affected by mental illness. The site includes support groups for individuals with mental illness and fo family members, as well as Fact Sheets, training opportunities, and information on a variety of topics related to mental health.

Learn more from NAMI

Mental Health

Find useful information and resources related to mental health in schools like Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), Resiliency, Suicide Prevention, and Trauma-Informed/Sensitive Schools.

Learn more from the IDOE

Roadmap To Behavioral Health

This guide explains how to use your health coverage to improve your mental and behavioral health. Information is included on how to find a behavioral health provider that is right for you

Learn more from CMS

Integrated Health Homes FAQ: For Individuals with Serious Mental Illness

Integrated Health Home is a service that is available to individuals enrolled in Medicaid who experience a mental illness. These Frequently Asked Questions outline all the details of the program.

Learn more from the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Habilitation Services

Habilitation Services is a program that provides Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for Iowans who have functional limitations due to mental illness. Get the details on what services are provided and how to apply.

Learn more from the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Crisis Management Plan: Support at Home for Children and Youth with Mental Health Needs

A crisis management plan should address positive ways to prevent the escalation of behavior problems and identify the next steps if it does. Learn about the key elements of a crisis management plan.

Learn more from PACER

Taking a Child to the Emergency Room for Psychiatric Treatment

Understand what the ER can (and can't) do for your child in a psychiatric emergency and what the parent’s role is in that situation.

Learn more from Child Mind Institute

Having a Child in Emergency Inpatient Treatment

This article describes many important details about what parents can expect when a child has an inpatient hospitalization, such as the rules and privileges, and medication changes.

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Bringing a Child Home from Psychiatric Hospitalization

The Child Mind Institute provides some helpful tips for parents when they are bringing a child home from a psychiatric hospitalization, including a list of things to watch for and keep track of.

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Anxiety in Kids: Quick Facts

This brochure provides a definition of anxiety, information on how it can affect kids, some ways that it can be treated, and helpful ways to support kids with anxiety.

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ADHD in Kids: Quick Facts

Learn about the symptoms of ADHD, how it can impact kids, and how it can be treated in this brochure.

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Depression in Kids: Quick Facts

This resource includes information on the symptoms of depression in children. Some of the options for treatment are outlined in this brochure.

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Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF-ID

Find a list of Intermediate Care Facilities which includes skilled nursing facilities that provide inpatient care for people who require skilled nursing supervision and supportive care but who do not need continuous nursing care.

Learn more from Iowa Compass

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

This website provides a description of how trauma can impact children and includes a resources section with information about how to address specific traumatic situations that children might be involved in like a natural disaster, bullying, or grief from the loss of someone close.

Learn more for NCTSN

Iowa ACEs 360

Learn about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in Iowa and how to help Iowans heal from trauma and thrive. Includes free online training.

Learn more from Iowa ACE's 360

Trauma Informed Care Project

Trauma Informed Care (TIC) is a treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. It emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety for all, and helps survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.

Learn more from TICP

What Is Trauma-Informed Teaching

Learn about what trauma is, and how it can impact learning and thinking, along with signs of trauma in school and how to use trauma-informed teaching. Includes trauma-informed resources for educators.

Learn more from Understood

Trauma Sensitivity During the IEP Process

This article helps teams understand ways to express sensitivity to trauma issues throughout the IEP process.

Learn more from the Federation for Children with Special Needs

Medical and Educational Models

When parents take their child to a doctor or therapist and have a medical or psychological evaluation done for their child, recommendations are made to benefit the child. Doctors often make recommendations for medical or therapeutic services to benefit the child and sometimes suggestions for school services. There have been times when medical doctors have told families to request a 504 Plan or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) from their child's school. It is important to remember this fact: Schools have an obligation to consider any information from outside providers but are not required to follow those recommendations.

View the ASK Resource Webpage

ASK an Expert: Mental and Behavioral Health in IDEA

This presentation will provide families with information to be used as they advocate for mental health services through their child’s special education programming.

Watch the ASK an Expert Webinar

ASK an Expert: Mental Health Assessments and Supports

Mental health services in an IEP should be individualized based on quality assessment data, and the IEP team should determine services collaboratively. This webinar will discuss who might complete the assessment, what that might look like, and who is available to provide mental health services.

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ASK an Expert: Mental Health and the IEP

This webinar will overview a 6-step approach to assist IEP teams in securing school-based mental health services for students with disabilities. It will present specific examples of IEP statements developed for students who need mental health support. The information will provide tools for parents to advocate for mental health services in IEP team meetings.

Watch the ASK an Expert Webinar

ASK an Expert: Mental Health and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs)

This webinar will present the requirements for Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) and provide parents with examples of BIPs developed for mental health support. The Iowa Chapter 103 provisions on seclusion and restraint practices will also be overviewed, with a discussion of the issues and concerns. Dispute resolution options for parents will also be highlighted.

Watch the ASK an Expert Webinar

Integrated Health Home (IHH)

An Integrated Health Home (IHH) is a team of professionals working together to provide whole-person, patient-centered, coordinated care for adults with a serious mental illness (SMI) and children with a serious emotional disturbance (SED). Care coordination is provided for all aspects of the individual's life and for transitions of care the individual may experience.

Learn About IHH

ASK an Expert: Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis.

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