New website aims for better mental health services

Hamburg Reporter

With the goal of better serving the residents of the region, The Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region (SWIA MHDS) created a new website that features a tool that can provide immediate resource information.

“The region has continued its work with stakeholders to create systems that work,” said Suzanne Watson, CEO of the Southwest Iowa MHDS Region. “The new website, in particular, the Resource Connection allows immediate information for housing/shelters, disaster services, mental health/substance abuse, home health services and much more.”

The SWIA MHDS serves a nine-county area in the southwest corner of Iowa. The geographic area includes the counties of Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, and Shelby in the state of Iowa.

“Our plan is to improve health, hope, and successful outcomes for the adults in the region who have mental health disabilities and intellectual/developmental disabilities, including those with multi-occurring substance use issues, health issues, physical disabilities, brain injuries, and other complex human service needs,” said Watson.

Also featured prominently on www.SWIAMHDS.com is the HOPE4IOWA Crisis Call Line. Ginny Gohr, Director, HOPE4IOWA Crisis Call Line wants everyone to know that the HOPE4IOWA Crisis Call Line is available and can connect individuals in crisis to trained counselors who can guide the caller to various resources. The helpline is available 24/7. Gohr continued, “Seeking professional help when self-help efforts to improve your mental health aren’t working is a sign of strength, not weakness.”

The Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Region (SWIA MHDS) moved recently to 227 S. 6th St., Suite 128, in Council Bluffs. It serves an area in the rolling hills of Southwest Iowa, including Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, and Shelby

counties. 

Their goal is to increase health, hope, and successful outcomes for adults in the region who may have mental, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, including those with recurring substance abuse and other complex human service issues.

More information is available at SWIAMHDS.com or by calling 712-328-5645.

The Hope4Iowa Crisis Call Line has been serving residents in Southwest Iowa since June of 2015. As of the end of March 2021, The Hope4 Iowa Crisis Call Line has taken 2,385 documented inbound calls. 

Thirty-one percent of those calls were related to a mental health concern, and eighteen percent of all callers reported having had current or recent thoughts of suicide. 

Untreated mental illness is the No. 1 cause of suicide. Seventy-four percent of callers had a lethality risk screen conducted with a crisis counselor to identify their level of risk, and many resulted in a safety agreement with the caller. 

Thirty percent of callers wanted ongoing assistance and were given referrals to mental health services in their area.

During follow-up calls, the hotline often receives gratitude expressed from callers such as

“I appreciate someone helping me with all of this. You guys were willing to listen to what was going on.” “The Counselor I talked to was very kind and helpful; she eased my mind. Please thank her for me.” “Thank you for all you are doing; I didn’t even know these services existed.”

The HOPE4IOWA Crisis Call Line was established to improve mental wellness, hope, and outcomes for residents of southwest Iowa in times of crisis. Residents can call the helpline phone number at 844-673-4469.