Scanlan Center for School Mental Health
Teacher with students
Imagine Iowa: Building Partners in School Mental Health

Are you a K-12 school ready to take your staff’s mental health awareness training to the next level? 

We are now accepting new applications for our Imagine Iowa comprehensive mental health training. 

Imagine Iowa training is a new evidence-informed, culturally responsive, equity-infused mental health awareness program, co-developed with Iowa youth, designed to support K-12 educators in improving their knowledge, skills, and attitudes about mental health. 

This training is an essential tool for educators who want to support and improve their mental health knowledge and evidence-based applications in their own lives, classrooms, schools, and communities. 

This curriculum will provide the opportunity to engage with topics such as mental health literacy, immediate crisis response, advocacy, and restorative practices; all of which will create an atmosphere of inclusion and wellness in classrooms and schools.  

In addition, participants will develop tools to have insight into their own mental health needs, as well as how to set up a personal wellness plan. 

Participants will begin to explore these topics in-person and be provided with the opportunity to engage in continual learning via digital platforms, after in-person professional development, to become partners in school mental health.  

Imagine Iowa is an essential tool for K-12 stakeholders who want to support mental health in their classrooms, schools, and communities. 

Imagine Iowa Training is a partnership with Iowa School Mental Health Initiative.  

Curriculum Objectives

This comprehensive training will prepare participants to be effective partners in mental health within their school community. By the end of the training program, participants will be able to:

  • Define and discuss specific mental health issues, with an emphasis on using stigma-free language
  • Identify indicators and risk factors associated with a mental health crisis, and to respond appropriately
  • Utilize effective communication skills for discussing mental health in an equitable and approachable way
  • Develop a personal mental health plan to maintain consistent self-care while navigating mental health situations at school/work


*Completion of this training offers participants one free state of Iowa licensure renewal credit. 

Training Details

Interested schools and districts can choose from three in-person training options for Summer 2023 Fall 2023-Spring 2024: 

Imagine Iowa options

  • Schools/school districts hosting the training must have a minimum of 20-25 educators. The maximum capacity is 100.  
  • Schools/districts will need to provide space with AV/projector capabilities that can accommodate small group interactions. 
  • For longer training sessions, refreshments/food will be provided by Imagine Iowa. We will work local school districts to identify a proximate vendor. 
  • This training is offered at no cost to schools/districts hosting the training or educators participating. 


Dr Ebonee Johnson
Assistant Professor,
Department of Community & Behavioral Health
University of Iowa College of Public Health
Project Director,
Project PEER (Prevent, Engage, Empower, Respond)
Jacob Priest
Associate Professor and Director of Couple and Family Therapy,
Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations
LGBTQ Counseling Clinic
Associate Professor,
Department of Psychiatry
Martin Kivlighan
Licensed Psychologist and Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology,
Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations
Visiting Associate Professor,
Internal Medicine
Visiting Associate Professor,,
Are you interested in expanding your mental health awareness and knowledge to improve outcomes for Iowa students and educators?