Lutheran Services in Iowa

Back to School Month

School is right around the corner! But imagine being a child or teen with an emotional or behavioral disorder. This time of year can be extremely stressful. They are afraid they won’t be able to concentrate or fit in at their school. They worry about the transition adjusting to a new classroom routine.

Did you know Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI) partners with schools across the state to provide mental health services right in their communities? Our therapists can work one-on-one with children while our Behavioral Health Intervention Services team is there to collaborate with families in their home and develop skills like anger management and decision-making.

We thank you for your support of LSI’s mission as we respond together to the love of Jesus Christ through compassionate service! If you would like to learn more about how you can give a gift and support these crucial services, please contact Deb Whitford, LSI director of philanthropy and church relations, at

Our Mission: Lutheran Services in Iowa responds to the love of Jesus Christ through compassionate service. LSI is an affiliated social ministry partner of the Iowa congregations of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and a member of LSA (Lutheran Services in America). We proudly serve people of all ages, abilities, religions, sexes, gender identities, national origins, ethnicities, races, and sexual orientations. Learn more at and 

Happier, healthier families
For years, Bia struggled with her daughter’s behaviors. McKenna, 8, lashed out against authority, and tempers regularly flared at home. 

“It took a little more time to work with her on anything,” Bia said.

Bia couldn’t find a way to help gain control of her child, and she became more and more frustrated. That’s when her DHS social worker recommended LSI’s Families Together program.

Through the program, Bia regularly meets with her Families Together worker, Gaylene. Together, they are working on what Bia calls a “three-step technique.”

“Whenever a possible argument comes along, I start by telling McKenna to go take a break and reset herself. Then I can go calm down and eventually, we can talk it out,” Bia says. “It’s teaching both of us. My main goal right now is to learn how to better handle McKenna and better handle myself.”

Bia is also practicing the technique with her younger daughter, Brynn, which she says is “working perfectly.” It’s drastically improving the way her family communicates, and Bia says she has recommended Families Together to any friends looking for guidance.

“I love the program,” she says. “I love how it works and I know if I have questions, they can give me advice on how to go about things.”

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