GOP: Majority Leader Hagenow’s Capitol Update

July 15, 2019
Mental Health Care Funding
Over the last two sessions the Legislature has made mental health care a top priority, resulting in transformational reform of Iowa’s mental health system. Most recently, we created Iowa’s first ever children’s mental health system. These initiatives represent monumental steps forward for Iowa’s ability to increase access to mental health services for all ages across the state.

Mental health services have always been funded and delivered at the county level in Iowa. In recent years, the system was reorganized in fourteen regions, where community-based services could be delivered to Iowans near their homes and close to family. The counties within each region have the ability to levy funding to provide the “core” services that have been required by the Legislature in recent years. These “core” services include the programs like Access Centers, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Teams, and children’s mental health services. With core needs met, many of the MHDS Regions have been able to accumulate large reserves over the years.
The Legislature has also made significant state investment in the system a major priority. This year, we appropriated funds for a statewide crisis hotline and ACT Teams, which were previously the responsibility of the MHDS Regions. Even more impactful, the Legislature provided funding to eliminate the Children’s Mental Health Waiver waiting list, allowing around 1,000 kids and their families to access much needed mental health services immediately.
With the funding provided by the Legislature, and many counties determining that their budgets are adequately funded, the MHDS Regions should be in a financially stable position to provide the mental health care services that Iowans across the state need. 

House Republicans will continue to monitor the financial condition of Iowa’s MHDS Regions, and ensure that the services are being implemented effectively statewide. We are committed to ensuring a sustainable mental health system in Iowa and will continue to show our commitment to this system
In The News
Iowa Sees Decrease in Opioid Related Deaths: Iowa Public Radio

Over the last several years, the Legislature has passed numerous measures to tackle the opioid epidemic in Iowa. We are starting to see results with opioid-related deaths decreasing by 33% and reaching a five-year low.

House Republicans will continue this work and find more common sense solutions to keep our communities safe while also helping individuals who are suffering from drug addiction and abuse.

Last year, opioid-related deaths in Iowa decreased by 33 percent, marking a five year low for the state, according to statistics released this month from the state’s Department of Health Statistics.

Iowa had 137 opioid-related deaths in 2018, 206 deaths in 2017, 180 deaths in 2016, 163 deaths in 2015 and 168 deaths in 2014.”

Read More: Iowa Public Radio

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