A state board has completed its plan for greatly expanding options for Iowa children who need mental health care services. Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven says he’s optimistic lawmakers and the governor will implement the board’s proposals.
The plan calls for mental health screening of Iowa children under the age of 18, so parents and professionals can perhaps intervene earlier, before there’s a crisis. Peggy Huppert, the leader of a mental health advocacy group, says she’s encouraged by the recommendations, but she cautions that lawmakers will have to find money somewhere to make the entire plan a reality. Foxhoven says he’s optimistic lawmakers will make it a priority.
There’s no estimate, yet, of exactly how much money is needed to implement the plan.