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Children’s Mental Health Committee

A voice for families of children with behavioral, emotional, developmental, or mental health needs.

Vision: Bring about positive change in children’s mental health services by:

* Raising awareness of Children’s Mental Health issues in Iowa
* Improving access to essential services throughout the state
* Working with schools to help children thrive

Goals:

1. There will be an organized statewide network that effectively partners with elected officials to ensure effective children’s mental health policy and implementation.
2. Children’s mental health will be an issue generally understood and discussed by the public, medical community, service providers, and educators.
3. Iowa will implement an evidence-based and inclusive model of excellence in children’s mental health care.

How:

Communicate

Step 1: Facilitate communications with parents to understand the diverse challenges of securing mental health care and education for their children. This is done through our “Parents Creating Change in Iowa” social media and events.
Step 2: Facilitate professionals’ understanding of parents’ challenges, barriers, and opportunities to change.
Step 3: Collaborate with and educate policy makers to implement agreed upon changes.

Collaborate

Partner with organizations concerned with the health and well being of children and families.

Be Inclusive

Strive to improve the lives of all children and adolescents with neurological conditions, behavioral challenges, developmental differences, trauma or brain injury. Work towards cultural competency and access to resources in all parts of the state. Cultivate appreciation for neurodiversity.

Empower

Through NAMI Smarts provide free advocacy training so families can make their voices heard. Keep families informed about advocacy opportunities and make the process accessible to busy parents.

Educate

Through the free NAMI Basics education program, teach families with a child with mental health needs the fundamentals of caring for the entire family.  Participants learn they are no alone and gain hope, comfort, and mutual support.

Support

NAMI Iowa Casserole Club (NICC) is an online support group for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with mental health needs. This is a safe place to find support and understanding from other families across the state. We are not “casserole moms”. When your child is seriously physically ill, it is common for neighbors and friends to bring casseroles, offer to help, etc. but when your child has a serious mental illness, people often do not know how to respond and often, simply do not. In this group, we offer each other kind words of encouragement, a listening ear, and yes, maybe even casseroles from time to time! We also offer a forum to help you find others in your area if you are looking for a local support group. To join send an email to rachel@namiiowa.org with “subscribe to support group” in the subject line.

Motto

Do what you can when you can. We know how busy you are and the unpredictability of caring for a child or adolescent with mental health needs. Our goal is to make it easy for you to make your voice heard. You can have any level of involvement from signing the occasional petition to a leadership role, and you can change your level of involvement as needed. We get it!

Join us! Together we can make a difference.

To volunteer or become a partner organization, contact info@namiiowa.org or 515-254-0417

Advocacy Tools

Please share these facts and handouts:

10 Simple Ways to Advocate

CMHC Brochure

Statistics to Share

The High Costs of Cutting Mental Health Care: Children & Youth

The High Costs of Cutting Mental Health Care: Criminal Justice

The High Costs of Cutting Mental Health Care: Healthcare

The High Costs of Cutting Mental Health Care: Homelessness

The High Costs of Cutting Mental Health Care: Unemployment

Mental Illness and the Workplace

Call for Action: A Strategic Plan for a Children’s Mental Health Redesign

Children’s Mental Health & Well Being Work Group

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