Tyler Coe Featured in Spotlight on Service for Mental Health Advocacy

The Iowa Lawyer
09.08.2021

When Whitfield & Eddy divorce and family law attorney Tyler Coe became one of the Des Moines Business Record’s “Forty Under 40” honorees for 2021, he wanted to use the spotlight to highlight some-thing important to him: mental health issues, especially in youth and attorneys.

In his profile, he told the Business Record: “I speak and write about mental health issues regarding youth and attorneys. It is extremely encouraging educating and sharing experiences with others to help lift them up. I provide free continuing legal education credit throughout 2021 on these topics. For attorneys, mental health directly connects with our ethical obligations.” 

In Coe’s mind, wellness should always come first. “‘How are you?’” is a serious question I ask everyone because that inquiry is frequently absent in our world,” he said. “Sometimes that is the only question I ask, but the one that matters most.”

Coe has dedicated himself to an organization that aligns with this personal mission. He is the former board president of “Please Pass the Love,” an organization that works with Iowa schools to help students and families navigate the school mental health journey through research and evidence-based strategies and frameworks. 

As president of the board, Coe led the organization to reach their strategic goals, including growth of the organization’s support of Iowa children and families. Last summer, Please Pass the Love hosted hundreds of teachers, administrators, support staff, counselors, psychologists, therapists, parents and high school students from across Iowa for a virtual school mental health conference.

“Without mental health supports for children, learning is not possible,” he said. “I get involved with organizations because I care about the mission. When I hear how individuals, families and communities receive the supports they want and need, I know my work is worthwhile.”

Coe, who is chair of the Whitfield & Eddy Law family law practice group, now serves on the board of directors for the Iowa Center for Children's Justice (ICCJ). The ICCJ is a non-profit devoted to providing legal support for children and their families including divorce workshops for children, legal representation for children, child-focused mediation, parenting coordination and neutral evaluation in Polk and Dallas counties.

“I am excitedly part of the strategic planning process to ensure ICCJ remains a beacon of light for children and families experiencing custody issues,” he said. “Knowing children have a voice in child custody cases helps me sleep better at night.” 

Coe has also served on the board of directors for One Iowa, and he enjoys volunteer work that gives back to the legal profession as well. He is the chair of the Polk County Bar Association Membership Committee and a member of the ISBA Young Lawyers Division Diversity Committee.

“I come from a family where I was the first person to graduate from high school and the only person to attend college and law school,” he said. “I recognize every single day how lucky I am to be where I am. I have a personal and professional obligation to give back.”

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