Spotlight on attending a Mental Health First Aid training, Friendship Ark Homes and Community Services and a Profile on Central Iowa Recovery along with Events and Stats.
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CICS Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month


CICS and its partners spent the month of May recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month. The Central Iowa Art Association’s mental health art exhibit, held May 4 inside the Fisher Community Center Auditorium, featured around 50 pieces of artwork created by a variety of local artists and remained on display inside the auditorium through May 25. Of special note is a section of the display devoted to paintings by Mark Becker, who is serving a life sentence in prison for the 2009 killing of Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas. Mark struggles with paranoid schizophrenia, finding relief and purpose in completing art projects.

“It wasn’t until several years into his incarceration he was healed enough to start painting,” his mother Joan Becker said. “I want people to understand that just because you have an illness in your brain doesn’t mean you don’t have gifts and talents.”

The other pieces of artwork on display varied in subject matter and medium, but they were all created by artists as a form of therapeutic relief. Read the full story here.

As part of CICS’ 18th annual May Mental Health Month seminar, Access, Inc. was recognized as CICS’s “Partner in Recovery.” The group was awarded this achievement for its outstanding services and dedication to individuals in the Hardin County area, especially in partnering with CICS to open a new transitional living center in Iowa Falls. More than 90 participants attended the event, hearing from speakers on a range of topics like trauma, healing and resiliency. In addition, CICS recognized more than 60 volunteers from the Friendship Club, the local MHDS Advisory Board and the FIA Friendship Club Advisory Board.

Services Spotlight


Three CICS staff members attended a Mental Health First Aid “Train the Trainer” seminar in May. This week-long training prepares a trainer to hold Mental Health First Aid trainings in the community for law enforcement, first responders, faith-based communities, service providers, hospitals, schools and interested community members. Mental Health First Aid aims to teach members of the public how to respond during a mental health emergency and offer support to someone who appears to be in emotional distress.

Mental health issues affect all of society in some way. According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, about one in five Americans will experience a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. It is extremely likely you will encounter someone in your family, workplace, school, church or community who lives with a diagnosed mental disorder. In addition, you will encounter others who experience distress or face a mental health challenge that may require support and assistance, but not medical intervention.

If your community would like to host a Mental Health First Aid training, please contact:

Patti Treibel Leeds LBSW, MS
Quality Assurance Officer
Central Iowa Community Services
Office: 515-832-9550
Cell: 515-297-2839


Calendar of Events

June 8

Mental Health First Aid Training
First United Methodist Church
Bethany Lutheran Church,
St. Matthew's By the Bridge Church
Hardin County | 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
*Register by calling Hardin County Community Services, 641-939-8167.

By the Numbers

On average

nearly 20 people/minute

are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

48.4% of women &
48.8% of men

have experienced at least one psychologically aggressive behavior by an intimate partner.

Domestic victimization

is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.



CICS in the Real World

Friendship Ark Homes and Community Services
Friendship Ark Homes and Community Services is a community-based organization that serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. It started from a grassroots movement of families working to develop support to meet the diverse needs of individuals seeking community services. The group celebrated the groundbreaking of its fifth home at the end of March. This new five-bedroom home is made possible only through the generous contributions of many. Friendship Ark Homes and Community Services looks forward to serving five new core members in this location, helping them achieve their fullest potential through faith, family and friendship.


Provider Profile

In the spring of 2011, Hamilton County faced a very unique opportunity. The local hospital had built a new facility and offered to donate the old Hamilton County Hospital facility to the county. Patti Treibel, the Hamilton County Central Point of Coordination discussed concepts for sub-acute care with other county CPCs and seized this opportunity to explore options.

The concept was a holistic recovery model that incorporated a tiered development of services, starting with Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services and Community Support Service, which would lay a foundation and corporate structure for future steps. This step would be followed by the development of Peer Support Service programs, which would incorporate individuals with “lived experience” in mental health as key factors in the recovery model. The final tier of the concept was to utilize this structured base corporation to support the development of crisis intervention services.

Central Iowa Recovery (CIR) continues to grow, and additional counties have expressed interest in becoming a part of the company service area so that the residents of their counties can receive these valuable service programs. CIR has more work to do within the current service area, expanding its Peer Support Service to additional counties, along with assessing the need of additional IPR practitioners in some of its current operation areas. The Peer Support Service and staff, as predicted, has become a very valuable asset to the company and the expansion of this service is a must. CIR constantly looks for talented people to hire and train as IPR practitioners. All in all, this situation leads to company growth and multiple employment opportunities for those who have an interest in assisting others on their road to recovery.

CIR offers three support programs: Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation Service, Peer Support Service and Community Support Service.

Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation Service is a service program delivered to adults with chronic mental illness by CIR staff with the mission of assisting individuals to “Choose, Get, and Keep” a life changing goal in their “Living, Learning, Working, or Social” environments.

Peer Support Service provided by Central Iowa Recovery (CIR) is a service provided to mentally ill individuals to benefit them in their recovery experience. The CIR Peer Support Service is provided by Peer Support Specialists (PSS) who have “lived experience”. These PSS support the individuals served by modeling competency in recovery and coping skills. All Peer Support Specialists have worked on their own recovery and can share those experiences.

Community Support Service is a service program delivered to adults with Chronic Mental Illness by CIR staff with the goal of Mental Health Stability for the individual in the community.