Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

May 10, 2018 Improvements advance to meet Iowa’s mental health needs
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

Meeting Iowans mental health needs is one area where the Legislature has achieved bipartisan success this session.

As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month, I am pleased with the steps we’ve taken and eager to do more to ensure Iowans get the care they need.

This year, we built on Iowa’s regional Mental Health and Disability Services to provide the right treatment at the right time to those struggling with severe, complex mental health or substance abuse needs (House File 2456). That work will continue in the coming months as we study how Iowa can pay for these and other long-term improvements.

In addition, we are enhancing help for young Iowans so that they can live happy, healthy, productive lives.

Educators will get evidenced-based training on suicide awareness and prevention as part of their professional development (Senate File 2113)). In addition, licensed school personnel who have regular contact with students will be trained to identify adverse childhood experiences—including enduring abuse, witnessing domestic violence and substance abuse in the home—so that their impact can be minimized.

Iowa is also developing a comprehensive children’s mental health system. A workgroup has been studying innovative treatments, taking a thorough approach to crisis stabilization and making recommendations. A new Children’s Mental Health Board will also be a part of the process, coming up with specific steps to implement and pay for a well-coordinated system.

This is a legislative update from State Senator Kevin Kinney, representing Keokuk, Washington and Johnson counties. Senator Kinney is ranking member on the Agriculture Committee. He also serves on the Ethics, Judiciary and Natural Resources committees, as well as the Agriculture & Natural Resources Budget.

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