Website designed to help educators and parents with mental health needs
Mental health professionals from Iowa’s nine AEAs recently collaborated to create a website for Iowans who are searching for mental health assistance. The website at www.IowaAEAMentalHealth.org came from a request by the state legislature to help educators, parents, and students navigate resources related to mental health and well-being in Iowa. In addition to AEA contacts for the schools, the site provides contacts for the home setting from Iowa’s Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS).
The website features vetted sources to educate visitors about addiction and substance abuse; anxiety and stress disorders; attention deficit disorder; depression; eating disorders; and self-harm.
A listing of Iowa groups and agencies that advocate for children and families is part of an education component of the site, as well as reducing the stigma associated with mental health.
“The site was designed to alleviate the frustration of finding contacts for services” said Tom Lane of Iowa’s AEAs. “When family members click the ‘Find Support’ button in the menu of the site, they will find whom to contact in their part of the state.”
The site also provides information about proactive measures people can take for self-care.
“People who pay attention to their own physical and emotional health are better able to handle the challenges of supporting someone with mental health issues,” said Lane.