Polk County Decategorization

Mental Health



Hosted by NAMI Greater Des Moines, 511 E. 6th Street

April 23rd-May 28th/Tuesday Evenings 6-7:30p

$35/person includes all supplies for the course, light snacks, tea, and water

Combine writing with thoughtful layers of collage, paint, stencils and mark making to express your experiences, emotions and ideas.

Designed for the beginner or experienced artist, this workshop will help you develop a daily practice and learn how to document your story through art and text. With facilitator Sam Erwin, MS, MA Art Therapist and Spiritual Director.

To register click here

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


Are the Words "Toxic Stress" Toxic? Re-thinking the Narrative About Early Life Stress

"The concepts of “toxic stress” and “adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs) have captured professional and public attention in recent years. While this has helped to bring more resources and interest to early childhood issues, it has also resulted in some harmful language and imagery that depicts children, families, or entire communities as “broken” or beyond healing and resilience. In our concern about adversity, are we selling short the capacity of individuals and communities to heal and grow? Are we doing more harm than good by inadvertently reinforcing stereotypes about children and families of color? Join a conversation with other concerned professionals about how to shift the narrative around early life stress to one that focuses on root causes of stress and celebrates the resilience of children, families, and communities." - CAILIN O'CONNOR, Center for the Study of Social Policy

You can see a video of the webinar here

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

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