The Community Foundation for Western Iowa ( hosted its first Mental Health and Substance Abuse Fund event on March 21 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Council Bluffs for nearly 80 community members. The event featured an in-depth and timely dialogue on mental health awareness, mental health first-aid and offered action steps for individuals in the community.

Presenters and organizations involved in the conversation included keynote speaker, Ciara Warden-Kinsella, MSW, LISW, survivor and co-owner/therapist at Clear Mind Therapy; Cory Woodward, Council Bluffs Police Sergeant; Tori Cassidy, clinical director at Heartland Family Service; and Mary-Beth Roskens, services intake coordinator for the Southwest Iowa Mental Health & Disability Services Region.

The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Fund, an initiative of the Community Foundation for Western Iowa, was created in 2018 to provide long-term, sustainable and quantifiable positive impact to nonprofit organizations through three focus areas: education, raising awareness, and providing learning and development opportunities for area service providers. The Fund services the following nine Iowa counties: Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie and Shelby.

To date, the Fund has granted over $16,000 to area nonprofit organizations providing life-affirming programs and services in support of mental well-being in western Iowa.

Learn more about the Community Foundation for Western Iowa and the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Fund and how to make an impact to the nonprofit organizations in western Iowa by visiting