Mental Health and Disability Redesign

2016 Mental Health and Disability Services Redesign Progress Report

Mental Health System Update presentation on August 12, 2015.

Letter from DHS Director Charles Palmer:

All 15 regions under the state’s Mental Health and Disability Services Redesign plan began operating as of July 1, 2014.

This is a remarkable accomplishment where legislators, stakeholders and citizens worked together to offer locally-delivered and regionally-administered services which meet statewide standards of care. The state continues assisting counties in this transition, and we believe these efforts are resulting in a robust system which is making a positive difference in the lives of Iowans.  

Under Mental Health Redesign legislation (SF2315), the regions are required to provide core services. These include:

  • Treatment designed to ameliorate a person's condition such as outpatient therapy or inpatient treatment, and medication management
  • Basic crisis response provisions including 24-hour access to crisis services
  • Support for community living, such as home health aides and home and vehicle modifications, as well as respite services
  • Support for employment including prevocational services, job development and day habilitation
  • Recovery services including peer and family support
  • Service coordination including coordinating physical health and primary care

Instead of having services in only one county to choose from, Iowans now have a regional base of services which meet statewide standards to address their needs. Counties get to pool their resources and offer a core set of services to help improve the health of Iowans.

Supporting mental health service delivery efforts is new funding available under the Affordable Care Act, including the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan

Services under Mental Health and Disability Redesign are offered in the least restrictive setting possible. This aligns with the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Olmstead decision in 1999 which said people of any age with disabilities should receive supports in the most integrated setting consistent with their needs.  

The state continues working with the regions on a system which supports Iowans with disabilities to live safe, healthy and successful lives in their home and community.

Charles M. Palmer, Director
Iowa Department of Human Services