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Parents Creating Change In Iowa

This group is for Iowa families to advocate on behalf of children with mental health needs. We can continue the discussion with politicians and work with our elected officials to improve our system. Together we can be a louder voice.

Members: 13
Latest Activity: Jan 2, 2018

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Comment by Tammy Nyden on September 22, 2014 at 4:13pm


The Iowa Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council

is seeking applications for membership:


The Mental Health Planning Council (MHPC) is an advisory body to the State Mental Health Authority within the Iowa Department of Human Services.  The activities of the Council are intended to help support the creation and expansion of comprehensive, community-based systems of care for adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbance in Iowa.


The key duties of the Council are:

  1. To review the State Mental Health Block Grant Plan and make recommendations to DHS.
  2. To advocate for adults with a serious mental illness, children with a serious emotional disturbance, and other individuals with mental illnesses.
  3. To monitor, review, and evaluate, not less than once each year, the allocation and adequacy of mental health services within the State.


Membership requires active involvement and a commitment of time.  The full Council meets six to seven times a year, usually in the Des Moines area, and members also participate in committee and workgroup activities between meetings to carry out the work of the Council.  Meeting stipends and travel expense reimbursements are available to help support the costs of participation.  Regular participation in meetings is an important function of Council membership.


Representation on the Council is specified by federal regulations and includes:

  • Adults in recovery (to include adults with serious mental illness who are receiving, or have received, mental health services)
  • Parents, guardians, or primary caretakers of a child (under age 18) with serious emotional disturbance
  • Family members of adults in recovery (to include family members of adults with serious mental illness)
  • Persons designated to represent key State agencies
  • Representatives of public or private agencies concerned with the planning or operation of mental health services in Iowa
  • Other persons interested in advocating for adults or children with mental health concerns


A term of membership is three years.  When vacancies occur, new members are selected from available applications, with attention to the gender, age, cultural, ethnic, geographic, and other diversity-related aspects of Iowa’s population.  Applications for any of the membership categories are accepted at any time and all applications will be retained and reviewed whenever openings for new members become available.  Individuals may qualify for membership in more than one category. 


Currently, the Council is seeking applications to fill vacancies for two parents, guardians, or primary caretakers of children with serious emotional disturbance, and one adult in recovery (to include adults with serious mental illness who are receiving, or have received, mental health services).


If you would like more information or an application form, please contact Connie Fanselow, or 515-725-0131, at the Departement of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Disability Services.   

Comment by Tammy Nyden on September 14, 2014 at 11:45am

As the NAMI IOWA Children's Mental Health Committee (CMHC)  works to finalize our advocacy agenda for the upcoming legislative session, we are looking for input from families and professionals working with children with mental health needs. Please take the time to fill out the following survey:

There will also be an open meeting of the CMHC on September 28 from 3:30-5:00 at 1105 Gilbert Ct., Iowa City to get community input and discuss strategy. All are welcome. 
A continually updated list of resources, support groups and advocacy activities can also be found on our website:  We would love to see this resource made available to parents through school newsletters or electronic backpacks - please share it with your local school and let us know if they will post it (so we can keep track.)
I would specifically like to point out some two upcoming activities for kids: Our NAMI KIDS Advocacy through Art program (attached) and NAMI KIDS Team in the upcoming NAMI IOWA Walks.
On our website you can also find a link to a PDF version of NAMI IOWA CHILDREN"S MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES, a very useful book with for families and professionals, particularly the fact sheets on various Childhood Disorders and Behavioral Challenges. 
Please share the survey and the above information with your networks of families, educators, and service providers as we are trying to reach every Iowa family that can use support and all those wonderful people who work with and support our children.
Also, please let us know of any programs that you are doing in your area with Children's Mental Health so we can advertise and support your work.
Tammy Nyden

Chair, NAMI IOWA Children's Mental Health Committee
5911 Meredith Drive, Suite E 
Des Moines, IA 50322-1903

Comment by Tammy Nyden on September 3, 2014 at 10:30am

Parent Support Group A brown-bag group (can bring lunch) for parents of children with mental illness or behavioral problems What: We are now accepting new attendees for this open, friendly, confidential forum in which parents can share ideas, gain and offer support, learn about local resources, and learn new strategies for supporting and helping their children. When: Tuesdays 12:00-12:50 p.m. September 9th through October 28th Where: Adult Psychiatry Clinic University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics John Pappajohn Pavilion First Floor by Elevator I How to register:Please call or email James Burkhalter, LISW at 319-356-8241, or contact Peggy Sharr, LISW at 319-353-6366, to reserve your spot. Space is limited.

Comment by Tammy Nyden on August 30, 2014 at 7:26am
Comment by Tammy Nyden on August 22, 2014 at 5:22am

Please join and / or support the NAMI KIDS Team in the 2014 NAMIWalks Iowa on Oct 4, 2014 9:00 AM.

We are walking to show our support for children and families with developmental, behavioral, emotional, neurological, and mental health needs. We would like to bring a sea of green (the color of Children's Mental Health) to raise awareness, end stigma, and show that we care. So wear a green shirt and join us! All kids and kids at heart are welcome to join us.

Come join the fun by clicking on the link below:

From our Team Page, click on the ‘Join My Team’ button to register and help us fundraise. If you can’t join us, you can also support our team by making a donation online.

The NAMI KIDS team is organized by the NAMI Iowa Children's Mental Health Committee: 
and Parents Creating Change in Iowa:

If your organization would like to join our team, you can wear your organization shirt and we will provide you with green ribbons to wear at the event.

Comment by Tammy Nyden on August 22, 2014 at 5:18am

We at NAMI IOWA Children's Mental Health Committee and put together a list of resources for those with a child with developmental, emotional, behavioral, neurological, or mental health needs.


Comment by Tammy Nyden on August 22, 2014 at 5:16am

NAMI KIDS Advocacy Through Art Program

Have your child submit their artwork.


Comment by Tammy Nyden on August 22, 2014 at 5:15am
Comment by Tammy Nyden on August 6, 2014 at 6:52pm

A NAMI Basics Teacher Training is being offered in Dubuque September 6-7. See the Events page on Find for more information.

Comment by Tammy Nyden on July 16, 2014 at 8:28am

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