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NAMI IOWA Children’s Mental Health Committee (CMHC)

Parents Creating Change in Iowa

Mission: to build and maintain a statewide coalition to bring about positive systemic change in children’s mental health services.


  • To raise awareness of Children’s Mental Health issues in Iowa
  • To improve access to essential services throughout the state
  • To collaborate with schools to help children thrive
  • To connect families to local resources and support

Vision: Iowa will become a model of excellence in children’s mental health services and support.


  • Family-focused: We begin by facilitating ongoing conversations with families in order to understand the day-to-day challenges of securing mental health care and meeting the educational needs of neurologically diverse children. We then expand the conversation to include professionals in order to understand current challenges and opportunities, as well as barriers to change. Finally, we collaborate with policy makers to imagine and implement positive systemic change.
  • Collaborative: We partner with organizations dedicated to the well being of children and families. Together we have a bigger voice! We help families find resources and support in their local community. Together we provide more support!
  • Inclusive: We seek to advocate for the diversity of children’s mental health needs. We stress the importance of cultural competency and appreciate how geographical location, economic status, and diagnosis can present particular challenges and opportunities. We strive to improve the lives of all children and adolescents with neurological conditions, developmental disorders, trauma or brain injury.
  • Empowering: Through NAMI Smarts we provide free advocacy training so families can make their voice heard by shaping a powerful and personal story that will move policy makers, raise awareness, and reduce stigma. We inform families of advocacy opportunities and make the process accessible to busy parents.
  • Supportive:  The free NAMI Basics  educational program teaches the fundamentals of caring for you, your family, and your child with mental illness.  Perhaps most importantly, as a participant you can gain comfort in knowing you are not alone. Recovery is a journey and there is hope for all families and individuals dealing with a brain disorder. The in-person group experience of NAMI Basics provides the opportunity for mutual support and positive impact. You can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to your experiences. Through your participation, you have the opportunity to help others grow.

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 illness. Our goal is to make it easy for you to advocate for Iowa’s Children. 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.

For more information on advocacy, to be added to our mailing list, or volunteer contact:

To learn more about services and supports available to you and your family contact Renee Speh:

Follow our Facebook page for announcements of events and advocacy opportunities:

Join our Facebook and F.I.N.D. groups to communicate with other Iowa parents and learn about upcoming events, resources in your area, and advocating opportunities:

Join the NAMI Iowa Casserole Club – an online support group for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with mental health needs:

NAMI Iowa Casserole Club

Working in partnership with:

Click on the following for CMHC brochure:



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