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Governor signs historic bill creating children's mental health system

Effort meant to address shortages in mental health services across state

May 1, 2019
Estherville News

DES MOINES-Wednesday, May 1, 2019, Governor Reynolds signed HF690, which passed both chambers with strong bipartisan support. This legislation creates a children's mental health system and establishes a state and regional governance framework and required core services for children. It closely aligns with the Strategic Plan submitted to the Governor and General Assembly by the Children's Behavioral Health System State Board (State Board) and codifies the State Board which was established by Governor Reynolds' Executive Order 2 in 2018.

The State Board will provide guidance on the implementation and management of the children's system. Regional governance of the children's system will be built upon the existing administrative and geographic structure of the Mental Health and Disability Services Regions. The Regions will develop access to a set of core services for all children. They will submit an implementation plan to the Department of Human Services (DHS) by April 1, 2020, describing the implementation of core services.

Core services will include prevention, early identification, early intervention, education, assessment/evaluation, medication prescribing and management, behavioral health outpatient therapy and comprehensive crisis services which include mobile response, crisis stabilization and behavioral health inpatient treatment. Additionally, DHS and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) will establish a single statewide 24 hour crisis line through YourLifeIowa.

"This really is a monumental day for children's mental health," said Director Foxhoven. "I've said it many times, we've been talking about this for 30 years. It's about time we finally got something done. I am grateful for the Governor's strong leadership on this and for the legislature's overwhelming support. I'm proud to be part of this effort and understand the lasting impact it will have on the lives of children, and their loved ones."

"Now, the real work begins," said Division Administrator Rick Shults. "We have broad representation of stakeholders working together and I'm confident we will succeed. I thank all of the family members, advocates, providers, educators, Regions, law enforcement and legislators for their passion and commitment. This is a great beginning to building a children's mental health system that has positive outcomes for children and their families."

In the coming months DHS will adopt rules to define services, provider standards, access standards and implementation dates.

 
 
 

 

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