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Mental Health Policy: Mothers on the Frontline

Screenshot from Mental Health Policy and Outreach site

The work of Tammy Nyden (Philosophy, Grinnell) combines her roles as mother, professor, and mental health advocate. Recently, that work has taken shape online in the form of two websites. The first, Mothers on the Frontline, provides a platform for mothers to share their stories about raising children with mental health disabilities. In creating that platform, Nyden and co-founder Dionne Bensonsmith have developed a method that not only reduces stigma and increases awareness through the sharing of stories, but also provides the women they interview with a healing and restorative experience.

The second website, Mental Health Policy and Outreach, is devoted to gathering, curating, and sharing resources for people interested in mental health policy in Iowa. It was launched by Nyden and her Grinnell students in 2017 and is set to expand in the coming years.

Tammy Nyden was a faculty participant in the 2017 Digital Bridges Summer Institute and has been supported by DBSI follow-up funding. Digital Bridges has also supported a faculty-student pedagogical partnership between Nyden and Grinnell undergraduate Maxwell Fenton. In this work, Nyden has collaborated with Yujing Cao of Grinnell’s Data Analysis and Social Inquiry Lab (DASIL) and Gina Donovan of Grinnell’s Digital Liberal Arts Collaborative (DLAC).