Spotlight on Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center, Foundation 2 Crisis Center and Profile on NAMI along Events and Stats.
CRISIS HOTLINE 844-258-8858 ▸



CICS Triples Its Reach to Iowans in Region Compared to 2016


CICS is pleased to announce its efforts to serve more Central Iowans with mental health and intellectual and other developmental disabilities have resulted in triple the number of phone calls to the Central Iowa Crisis Line in quarter one of 2017 compared to the same timeframe last year.

From January to March 2016, CICS fielded 34 calls through its Central Iowa Crisis Line (844-258-8858) — a 24-hour phone line with trained staff who provide support for people looking for immediate help with their emotions or mental health. From January to March 2017, 100 calls were received. That’s a 194 percent increase in calls from quarter one in 2016 to quarter one in 2017.

“This is a major milestone for the CICS region, as we work to familiarize more Iowans with the 800 number they can use in a time of crisis,” said CICS CEO Jody Eaton. “Since we began, CICS has worked to ensure Central Iowans know we are here to help. As we continue to expand our services and network of providers, we will no doubt continue to see the use of the Central Iowa Crisis Line increase.”

Services Spotlight


CICS and Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center are working together to provide transportation to and from hospitals for both voluntary and involuntary mental health commitments, as well as stays at crisis stabilization centers. Contracted in June 2014, CIJDC began offering these forms of transportation in the CICS region, averaging 70 mental health trips per month.

To make a referral:
Call: (641) 858-3852
Email: Central Iowa Detention


Calendar of Events

May 4

Central Iowa Art Association Reception
— Fisher Community Center Auditorium
709 S. Center Street
Marshalltown, IA | 5:00–7:00 p.m.

May 4

CICS Administrative Team Meeting
— Story County Administration Building
900 6th Street
Nevada, IA | 1:00 p.m.

May 9

Families Supporting Families
— First United Methodist Church
619 Main Street
Iowa Falls, IA | 6:00–7:30 p.m.

May 24

18th Annual Mental Health Awareness Seminar & Luncheon
— First United Methodist Church
619 Main Street
Iowa Falls, IA | 11:30–1:00 p.m.
RSVP Form »

May 25

CICS Governing Board Meeting
— Story County Administration Building
900 6th Street
Nevada, IA | 1:00 p.m.

June 8

Mental Health First Aid Class
— First United Methodist Church
619 Main Street
Iowa Falls, IA | 8:30–5:00 p.m.

By the Numbers

Approximately 1 in 5 Adults

in the U.S. — 43.8 million or 18.5% — experiences mental illness in a given year.*.

1/2 of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14, 3/4 by age 24.

Despite effective treatment, there are long delays — sometimes decades — between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.*.

$193.2 Billion

the cost in lost earnings per year for serious mental illness in America.*

*Statistics from NAMI


CICS in the Real World


Cheryl Plotz has worked at the Foundation 2 Crisis Center for 38 years. In that time, she’s seen a lot.

“We have been answering calls from all over the state since the ‘80s,” she said. “When the regions broke out, we were sort of like, ‘Well, we’ve kind of been doing this already.’”

Referring to the implementation of 14 mental health and disability service regions across the state, Plotz and her staff at Foundation 2 began fielding crisis line calls for the CICS region, at first only getting a handful, and then watching that number skyrocket.

“Sometimes we’re just with people and talk about how devastating that loss can be to you. We’ve talked to people who lost children to suicide, who have lost parents or siblings to suicide,” she said. “Everything from cancer, to my husband lost his job, to my wife left me, all of that going on.”

A group of high school and college students started Foundation 2 in the 1980s, which was named after a science fiction novel. Plotz, the program manager, says as awareness for the line has increased, her staffers on the phone lines have been much busier.

“Our biggest month has been around 3,100 calls, and 2,600 is our lowest month,” she said.

It’s this building in Cedar Rapids where help and healing are provided to so many in a time of crisis. The Central Iowa Crisis Line — a 24-hour line CICS has been pushing those in a crisis to call since its inception — connects directly to Plotz and her staff. In the CICS region alone, awareness has gone up in just the last year; 34 calls in quarter one 2016 compared to 100 calls in quarter one 2017 is the most telling evidence so far.

“I believe we have a place here where all our counselors don’t want to tell you what to do with your life, but we’re ready to listen,” Plotz said. “We don’t decide for you what kind of crisis you are going through.”

The staff at Foundation 2 are all paid and hold college degrees. They hold certifications from the American Association of Suicidology and Chapter 24 — a crisis services credential administered by the Department of Human Services. It’s these accolades Plotz believes puts her call center in the best possible position to assist Central Iowans struggling with a crisis. A call to the 24-hour line at 844-258-8858 will connect someone in a crisis with the resources they need within the CICS region.

“Generally, when we have our own thoughts yacking away at us, it can be very negative very discouraging, and I think talking out loud with someone else can bring perspective to any life situation,” Plotz said. “I think we have made differences in people’s lives because they’ve had someone listen to their experiences, and they didn’t judge them.


Provider Profile

NAMI Central Iowa

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Central Iowa was founded in 1989 with a simple goal: to inspire better lives for Central Iowans affected by mental illness. NAMI CI works to achieve this goal through support programs, educational outreach and advocacy on local, state and national levels.

NAMI CI supports people with mental illnesses, their families and their friends. Support programs provide individuals and those by their sides the tools and resources to cope with mental illness. Through meetings, support groups, courses and referrals, NAMI CI is available to help Central Iowans, whatever their situation or need.

NAMI CI educates communities about mental health issues. A stigma surrounds mental illness, and NAMI CI wants people to understand what it’s like to live with mental illness. One way NAMI CI does this is through educational programs. From informative public meetings to displays and communication pieces, to partnership with local leaders, NAMI CI helps community members better understand, empathize and support those with mental illness.

NAMI CI advocates to improve the conditions for and on behalf of those affected by mental illness. Every individual has a unique story to share, to inspire, to elicit change. But often individual stories aren’t heard. NAMI CI takes these stories and ensures people who can help make change hear these stories. NAMI CI works with the state and national NAMI organizations to bring mental health issues to the attention of local, state and national governments. It supports legislation that benefits the lives of people with mental illness and spreads awareness of that legislation to the larger community. NAMI CI delivers insights and techniques to families and mental health service providers to ensure the best methods are known and in practice.

In partnership with CICS, NAMI CI acts as a resource for the region and the mental health providers within the region. Whether that’s helping bring a wellness center to an organization, helping that organization expand its activities or simply starting a support group or community education component, NAMI CI works to help CICS improve the lives of Iowans with mental illnesses every day. In addition, NAMI CI is committed to working with CICS to help other counties in the region establish local NAMI chapters.