Iowa Advocacy Groups

There are a number of groups and agencies advocating for children and families.  Below are links to the groups:

  • Please Pass the Love is committed to increasing school mental health (SMH) supports to improve the quality of life and educational opportunities for children, families, and educators as well as offer culturally responsive comprehensive services and evidence-based supports to school systems. We strive to bridge positive relationships between the educational and mental health communities to more effectively prevent and address mental health issues for our children and adolescents throughout the state of Iowa.
  • Make It OK is community campaign to reduce stigma by starting conversations and increasing understanding about mental illness. Created by Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative to provide resources for educating Iowans about mental health stigma, talk about mental illness in ways that are supportive and open, and share the resources to talk about mental illness so that we can all support those who are struggling to find the resources and treatment they deserve.
  • Iowa ACEs 360 is a network of many leaders who work together and independently to address ACEs. Addressing ACEs and childhood trauma requires us to take a 360 degree approach. Iowa ACEs 360 is working to prevent ACEs by working with youth-serving and adult-serving organizations and systems. Prevention and healing go hand and hand; in order to prevent future childhood trauma, we must identify practices that help children and adults heal.
  • Iowa Safe Schools provides comprehensive support, victim services, resources, and events for LGBTQ and Allied youth. Serving over 4,500 youth annually, Iowa Safe Schools is the largest LGBTQ youth serving organization in the Midwest.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness: Iowa provides support groups and education to outreach and advocacy, NAMI IOWA works to provide the tools needed by friends, families and persons with mental illness of all ages.
  • Coalition to Advance Mental Health in Iowa for Kids (CAMHI4Kids) supports the development of a children’s behavioral health system that includes a multi-tiered system of: Prevention, early identification, early intervention and community prevention; Comprehensive crisis services; Behavioral health treatment; and Community-based flexible support services.
  • Iowa School Counselor Association: The mission of the Iowa School Counselor Association is to advance the academic, career and social-emotional development of all students through excellence in professional school counseling. They have been a strong advocate for mental health supports in schools/communities and help develop relationships between school counselors and key stakeholders & key agencies.

Note: These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Iowa’s Area Education Agencies of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. Iowa Area Education Agencies bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

Red sign painted on open hand with words stop stigma

Reducing the stigma associated with mental illness

Misunderstanding and fear often leads to prejudice against those with mental illness. This prejudice may lead to feelings of hopelessness and shame in those struggling to cope with their situation. These feelings often prevent people from seeking treatment.