Iowa Focuses on Mental Health

May is national mental health awareness month, and May 10, is children’s mental health awareness day. This May, Iowans have a lot of progress to celebrate and a lot of hard work ahead.

Recently Gov. Kim Reynolds signed landmark mental health legislation into law. This important legislation fills mental health and substance use disorder service gaps in Iowa’s mental health system to address the most complex service needs. It will provide access to mental health services throughout the state by establishing and implementing an array of services and supports. The bipartisan legislation builds on the state’s existing mental health system and provides all Iowans with access to the full array of mental health care they need, no matter where they live.

On April 23, 2018, Gov. Reynolds signed an executive order on Monday, creating a Children’s Mental Health Board and providing the first of many steps to establish a children’s mental health system in Iowa. Initially, the Children’s Mental Health Board will develop and recommend specific steps to build an integrated, well-coordinated and sustainable children’s mental health system. Long-term, the board will serve as the state board, providing oversight and technical assistance to the entire system.