Our hearts and minds are with our community. As we all cope with grief, shock, sadness, fear and other emotions, we wanted to share potentially helpful resources. As the Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region serving Audubon, Dallas and Guthrie counties, Heart of Iowa Community Services (HICS) is the go-to local resource that can listen to and support our kids and families, be there for educators in the days and weeks to come, and train law enforcement.

Resources at a glance 

  • Heart of Iowa Community Services (HICS) can connect you to long-term mental health support and care coordination. Call 515-993-5869.
  • HICS can help children cope with trauma and loss. Call 515-993-1722.
  • Call 988 or 844-428-3878 if you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis or simply doesn’t know how to move forward.
  • Inside Out Wellness & Advocacy can help with crisis stabilization. Call 515-642-4125. If experiencing a crisis, call for mobile crisis services at 844-428-3878.
  • If children are in need of crisis stabilization, Easterseals Children’s Crisis Stabilization can assist. Call 515-288-0818.

HICS Support for Children

We want to wrap our arms around the children and families of our community who experienced trauma and are grieving a friend and peer. Today and throughout the next few weeks, HICS is connecting kids and families to therapists through telehealth and in-person appointment options. We can also set up long-term supports for kids and teens as they work through trauma in the days, months and years ahead. Please reach out to the HICS office at 515-993-1722 for assistance.

Additionally, parents and guardians are grappling with how to talk to kids and teens about violence. The National Association of School Psychologists shares these tips HICS supports. 

HICS Assistance for Educators

Our educators in Perry and throughout our region are going to need immediate and long-term support. HICS has been working with school therapists and educators in our region to provide mental health resources. In the next week, HICS staff will be available on-site and in our office. We will also have therapists available in-person and via telehealth.

HICS Training for Law Enforcement

We can’t thank our law enforcement and first responders from various communities enough for responding so quickly. HICS has been working with area law enforcement, including the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, to ensure mental health is at the forefront of law enforcement training. In light of this horrible tragedy, we’re still working with law enforcement to connect those impacted to resources and train officers to best respond to mental health-related calls for service. 

We know that victims of tragedies such as this may feel that support disappears after the first few weeks following a traumatic incident. Know that HICS is in it for the long haul with our community to connect you to resources long-term. We will do whatever we can to wrap our arms around Perry, Dallas County and the greater central Iowa community. 

— Darci Alt, CEO of the Heart of Iowa Community Services MHDS Region