Iowa governor signs children’s mental health system bill

May 1, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a bill that creates a system for children needing help with mental health issues.

Speaking at a ceremony Wednesday, Reynolds said the new law requires core services for children, regional crisis stabilization, mobile response teams, 24-hour hotline access to services, and $1.2 million for home and community-based children’s mental health services. The goal is to eliminate the waiting list that currently exists.

The bill was one of Reynolds’ top priorities and while it passed with bipartisan votes, lawmakers did not provide the full funding she requested.

Reynolds says her commitment is to develop long-term funding for mental health services to propose next year.

Standing in front of supporters and a family who lost a child to suicide, Reynolds said the new system is life-changing and replaces a stigma associated with mental illness with hope.