NAMI Iowa's Annual Conference

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This year’s virtual conference features exciting keynote speakers from NAMI National and Iowa stakeholders.

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Welcome to NAMI Iowa's 2020 Annual Conference!

This year’s Annual Conference features exciting keynote speakers from national and Iowa stakeholders, including Ernie Stevens, Joe Smarro, and Jenifer McShane from the documentary Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops. The purpose of the Annual Conference is to provide educational opportunities for individuals living with mental illnesses, their loved ones and mental health professionals. The conference will offer a variety of plenary and breakout sessions, allowing each attendee to customize the event to match their interests.

Please note: NAMI Iowa’s Annual Membership Meeting, separate from the Annual Conference, will be held virtually on Saturday, November 21. The Annual Membership Meeting is free to attend and open to all; however, only active NAMI Iowa members can vote on items, such as board nominations. When registering for the Annual Conference, you can also register for the Annual Membership Meeting at the same time; please indicate your interest in joining for the Annual Membership Meeting at the appropriate registration question. If you are interested in only attending the Annual Membership Meeting, please click here to be taken to the Annual Membership Meeting event page.

Friday, November 20 Agenda:

8:30-8:40 AM: Opening Remarks

8:40-9:40 AM: Plenary #1 – NAMI for 2020 and Beyond - Teri Brister, National Director, Research & Quality Assurance, NAMI national

9:50-10:50 AM: Plenary #2 – Mental Health is Public Health - Kelly Garcia, Director, Iowa Department of Human Services

11:00 AM-12:00 PM: Plenary #3 – Race and Culture: Learning a New Language So We Can Talk About It - Lissa Jones-Hofgren

12:00-12:30 PM: Lunch Break

12:30-1:30 PM: Breakout Sessions

• Panel on Mental Health Courts and Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) programs

• Panel on Children’s Mental Health

• Importance of Self-care in the Age of COVID-19

1:45-2:45 PM: Breakout Sessions

• Defunding the Police? A Panel Discussion on Impact for those Living with Mental Illness

• Tips & Tricks for Virtual Programming

• Telehealth and the Pandemic: What Does the Future Hold?

3:00-4:30 PM: Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops Viewing & Discussion with Ernie Stevens, Joe Smarro, and director Jenifer McShane

4:30-4:35 PM: Closing Remarks

Saturday, November 21 Agenda:

9:00-11:00 AM: NAMI Annual Membership Meeting

Interesting in being a sponsor or exhibitor? Click here to receive more information.


How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please call the NAMI Iowa office at 515-254-0417 or email

Are CEUs available for the Annual Conference? CEUs are not available for NAMI Iowa’s 2020 Annual Conference. We plan to bring this component back at our next in-person conference.

Can non-NAMI members attend all events on Friday and Saturday? You do not have to be a NAMI Iowa member to attend the Annual Conference on Friday or the Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday. However, on Saturday, non-members cannot vote on items, such as board nominations.

Do I need to register separately for the NAMI Iowa Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday, November 21? If you are registering to attend the NAMI Iowa Annual Conference on Friday, there is a specific registration question that will also register you for the Annual Membership Meeting. If you are only interested in registering for the Annual Membership Meeting, please register on the Annual Membership Meeting event page.

Thank you to our sponsors!

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