Polk County Decategorization

Mental Health


The Science of How Our Minds and Our Bodies Converge in the Healing of Trauma

Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk Boston-based psychiatrist, pioneering PTSD researcher and author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma states:

"One does not have be a combat soldier, or visit a refugee camp in Syria or the Congo to encounter trauma. Trauma happens to us, our friends, our families, and our neighbors. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that one in five Americans was sexually molested as a child; one in four was beaten by a parent to the point of a mark being left on their body; and one in three couples engages in physical violence. A quarter of us grew up with alcoholic relatives, and one out of eight witnessed their mother being beaten or hit. It takes tremendous energy to keep functioning while carrying the memory of terror, and the shame of utter weakness and vulnerability."

To read the rest of the article click here


ACEs and Toxic Stress: Frequently Asked Questions

The terms adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress seem to be everywhere right now, but what are they exactly and how are they related? Clear up the confusion in this new, easily shareable resource that includes a helpful, downloadable infographic and answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs). Most importantly, information is included about how to help mitigate the effects of ACEs and toxic stress, whether you've experienced them yourself or want to help others. Learn more at https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/aces-and-toxic-stress-frequently-asked-questions/

American Indians and Alaska Natives must be included on adverse childhood experiences

Research shows that American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children are more likely to have certain adverse childhood experiences (such as living in poverty) that can result in negative effects throughout their lives. However, there is a lack of comprehensive data about AI/AN adverse childhood experiences because AI/AN data are typically grouped in an “Other” category, or not analyzed in studies at all.

 A new blog discusses how to include AI/AN populations in adverse childhood experiences data to better understand and address adverse childhood experiences. Researchers should consider whether certain adversities, such as historical trauma, are uniquely important to AI/AN populations. Additionally, tribal sovereignty must be acknowledged to develop sustainable adverse childhood experiences prevention and intervention strategies.

Read the full blog post


Momentum - Community Support Advocates (6000 Aurora, DM 50322)

We offer FREE art services for artists impacted by disability, brain injury, or living with a mental health issue. This includes free workshops, mentoring, and open studio hours where artists can come in and use our supplies. Contact Shannon @ 515-681-4099 or shannonk@teamcsa.org

TACA (Talk About Curing Autism)

is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to educate, empower and support families affected by autism. Please contact Susan susan.straka@tacanow.org or visit http://www.tacanow.org


Trauma-Informed IEPs: Differential Diagnosis and Trauma-informed Assessment in Schools - Click here

Psychological First Aid for Schools - Click here

Tools to Promote Mental Health & Well-Being for Human Rights Advocates - click here

Webinar: Selecting, Preparing for, and Implementing Evidence-Based Programs in Community and School Settings - Click here to access

Evening Peer Support Group Meetings "NAMI Connections Support Group"

A peer-led support group for adults living with mental illness. By sharing your experiences in a safe and confidential setting, you'll gain hope and develop supportive relationships. The group encourages empathy, productive discussion, and a sense of community. Gain insight from hearing the challenges and successes of others.  Connections Support Groups are led by trained people who've been there. Learn more here

  • When: the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7p
  • Where: NAMI Greater Des Moines / 511 East 6th Street (Des Moines)
  • Cost: Free

NAMI | Greater Des Moines

An Outstanding Summary of the Legislative Session - Detailed - Balanced - click here

Woodward Community Based Services

Outpatient Mental Health Services

We are dedicated to the treatment of children, adolescents and adults. Our Programs offers creative, holistic, solution-based practices with clients who have a mental health diagnosis. Outpatient individual therapy is a clnical mental health service. Outpatient grouptherapy is also available upon request for both adolescents and adults. Call 515-274-9607 to learn more.

YESS Mental Health Services Available to the Community

You know YESS provides shelter to kids in our community. But did you also know...?

  • A child living in shelter can receive mental health support (including therapy and BHIS) while in shelter and continue these services when they transition out of shelter
  • YESS provides mental health services for kids and families in the community, including those who have never utilized shelter
  • Our BHIS Team provides in-home services for more than 150 families per year and is currently accepting new clients
  • Our counseling team has expertise in EMDR, trauma-informed care, attachment concerns, and so much more

Can your clients benefit from mental health support at YESS Hope Hall? Learn more:
>> Visit our website
>> Call 515-557-2256

View additional information HERE

Youth Mental Health and First Aid by Prevent Child Abuse Iowa

January 10, 8:30am-5:30pm, Drake Community Library, Grinnell, IA - Register on Eventbrite

January 17, 8:30am - 5:30pm, Audubon County Extension, Audubon, IA - Register on Evenbrite

Why Youth Mental Health First Aid? This training teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This 8-hour training gives adults who work with youth the skills they need to reach out and provide initial support to adolescents (ages 12-18) who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care.

 What this training covers:

Common signs and symptoms of mental illnesses in this age group, including: Anxiety, Depression, Eating disorders, and Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Common signs and symptoms of substance use.
How to interact with an adolescent in crisis.
How to connect the adolescent with help.

The course will teach you how to apply the ALGEE action plan:

Assess for risk of suicide or harm
Listen non-judgmentally
Give reassurance and information
Encourage appropriate professional help

Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Where to find help for anxiety and depression

It’s a misconception that freshman year of college marks the beginning of a super-fun, shiny, happy part of a student’s life. Our belief in this myth can be attributed to TV shows, movies or adults saying things like “College was the happiest time of my life!” For some, college is all those amazing things. But for many, it differs from our expectations.

It’s completely normal to feel stressed, lonely or lost during college. According to the American College Health Association’s most recent survey, anxiety and depression are two leading factors in college students’ academic performance. The survey showed 63 percent of students said they felt “overwhelming anxiety” in the past 12 months and 42 percent of students said they felt “so depressed that it was difficult to function” in the past 12 months.

They key is to get help when you need it. Most colleges provide on-campus counseling services. If not, try these resources:

  • Ask your student health center for a recommendation.
  • Ask your physician or another health professional.
  • Call your local or state psychological association.
  • Consult your school’s psychology department.
  • Ask family and friends.
  • Contact your area community mental health center.
  • Inquire at your place of worship.
  • Use Psychology Today’s Therapist Locator online tool.

Mental Health