Board of Regents Approves Iowa Center for School Mental Health at UI College of Education


The Board of Regents has approved IU’s proposal to recognize the Iowa Center for School Mental Health as an official center. The center was initially established in the summer of 2021.

The Board of Regents has approved the University of Iowa’s proposal to establish the Iowa Center for School Mental Health within the UI College of Education.

In 2021, the Iowa Center for School Mental Health was announcement as a partnership between the Iowa Department of Education and UI to address the state’s mental health crisis. It functions as a research center which also provides resources.

Rachel Boon, academic director of the Board of Regents, said after it became clear that the Iowa Center for School Mental Health would be a long-term institution, it was time for the Board of Regents to approve it.

“When you’re going to create something that’s been established for a longer time,” she said, “then as a matter of policy, what we then do is put it through that process so that we then have documentation that it’s was approved by the Board of Regents.

According to IU’s request for a new school mental health center, the pandemic has only increased the already growing mental health needs of students and teachers.

The Iowa Center for School Mental Health aims to establish mental health resources in K-12 schools and provide educators with training on how to support themselves and students in struggling with mental health issues.

The proposal stated that its objectives are to:

  1. Provide training for educators and anyone else seeking training in mental health education
  2. Research both the development and implementation of mental health practices, assessments, and interventions in Iowa schools to better understand the best ways to implement mental health services in iowa classrooms
  3. Providing Mental Health Resources and Immediate Support to Iowa Schools and Educators
  4. Provide professional resources such as mental health outreach, intervention, and post-intervention services to institutions of higher education such as the University of Iowa

The center has collaborated with other UI institutes such as Carver College of Medicine, College of Nursing, and UI Hospitals and Clinics.

“This center is a perfect example of how our institution can work with our state government to meet the needs of the people of our state,” said Daniel Clay, dean of the College of Education at the University of Iowa. , during a meeting.

The center was funded by a $20 million grant from the Department of Education and philanthropic donations. The application indicates that the primary purpose of the funding will be to receive research grants. While the center will work within the University of Iowa, it will consult with other institutions, such as the other Iowa schools operated by the regency Northern Iowa University and Iowa State University, and even those outside of Iowa.

The UI College of Education “has dedicated an office suite on the third floor of the Lindquist Center for center management and personal staff,” the application states. “Additional space has been reserved to provide clinical services and clinical training on campus.”

According to the center Web page on the university’s website, 1 in 13 Iowa high school students have attempted suicide.

“The number of attempted and completed suicides has increased dramatically over the past two years, especially since the pandemic,” said Alissa Doobay, associate professor of counseling psychology at the University of Iowa. “But it was already trending up before the pandemic. So it hasn’t improved in the last two months.

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