Midwest School Mental Health Conference

August 8, 2019 - Iowa Events Center

The 7th Annual Midwest School Mental Health Conference themed School Mental Health Systems on August 8, 2019 at the Iowa Event Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Registration includes lunch and access to all workshops & presentations and partner exhibitions. 


Join hundreds of teachers, administrators, support staff, counselors, psychologists, therapists, parents, preservice college students and many more from across the midwest for the only school mental health conference in Iowa. Past topics have included suicide prevention, creating a school mental health system in your school, strategies for internalizing and externalizing behaviors, trauma-informed care, creating a trauma-sensitive school, youth perspective, LGBTQ mental health awareness and needs, culturally responsive school mental health, racial trauma, restorative justice, risk factors & resiliency, juvenile justice, and much more. 


Keynote Speaker
Dr. Nicole Skaar
Keynote Speaker
Kevin Hines

Dr. Nicole Skaar is a school psychology trainer and associate professor at the University of Northern Iowa. Dr. Skaar received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Prior to accepting a faculty position at UNI in 2011, Dr. Skaar worked as a school psychologist for Heartland Area Education Agency. While at UNI, Dr. Skaar has directed research projects aimed to improve school-based mental health systems and interventions. She is currently working on a 3-year grant-funded project with Great Prairie AEA and North Mahaska schools that aims to develop and implement a model for school-based mental health systems in rural schools. Dr. Skaar’s service to her community and profession in collaboration with community groups has resulted in the development of an annual mental health summit at Hawkeye Community College and advocacy for mental health legislation and policy changes. In addition to her work at UNI, Dr. Skaar maintains her Iowa Professional Service License and her National School Psychologist Certificate and is the consulting school psychologist for Belle Plaine Community schools. She collaborates with administration to provide professional development for teachers and staff, and provides direct service to the students and families of the school district who otherwise are unable to secure community based psychological services.


Survivor | Storyteller | Film Maker

Kevin Hines is a storyteller at heart. He is a best selling author, global public speaker, and award winning documentary filmmaker. In the Year 2000, Kevin attempted to take his own life by jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. Many factors contributed to his miraculous survival including a sea lion which kept him afloat until the Coast Guard arrived. Kevin now travels the world sharing his story of hope, healing, and recovery while teaching people of all ages the art of wellness & the ability to survive pain with true resilience.

Download the Conference Program!

Read about all of the amazing sessions that we're offering this year and check out the schedule for the day!

Screening Suicide: The Ripple Effect

“Suicide: The Ripple Effect” is a feature-length documentary film and MOVEMENT, focusing on the devastating effects of suicide and the tremendous positive ripple effects of advocacy, inspiration and hope that are helping millions heal & stay alive. Seen by over 500,000 people already, across 7 countries, this film is having a global impact. 

The film highlights the journey of Kevin Hines, who at age 19, attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. Today Kevin is a world-renowned mental health advocate, motivational speaker and author who travels the globe spreading a message of hope, recovery and wellness. 

This film is part of a global mission to help reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts around the world. Through sharing stories of survival and recovery we are creating significant awareness of this health crisis, while helping people find the support they need to stay alive, heal and #BeHereTomorrow!  

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CEU and License Renewal

CEUs and license renewal opportunities are available!

For anyone wanting continuing education and license renewal credits, you will need to sign in at the CEU table at the beginning and at the end of the day.

  • IBC 6 Counseling Theories CEUs

  • Social workers can use the certificate to submit with their licensure renewal paperwork

  • Educators can get Drake or licensure renewal credit through the ISEA website.

Call for Proposals

Sponsorship Opportunities

Are you or your organization interested in helping sponsor our conference?

We have several levels of sponsorship available with expo tables to share your organization's resources and information!