Mental Health Bills Become Law in Iowa

Governing

By Rod Boshart

Calling it a “milestone day for mental health in Iowa,” Gov. Kim Reynolds signed two significant pieces of legislation in to law Thursday that she said will bolster Iowa’s commitment to treating children and adults facing mental health challenges with dignity and compassion.

With mental-health service advocates, parents and friends of suicide victims and state lawmakers gathered on the Capitol balcony and first-floor rotunda, the governor signed into law House File 2456 dealing with comprehensive mental-health upgrades and Senate File 2113 to set up required training for Iowa’s educators to recognize and address the signs of a young person facing a mental-health crisis.

In so doing, Reynolds said the dual legislation represented a significant development but by no means meant the problems facing Iowans will be immediately addressed and that additional work will be needed to address issues facing some of Iowa’s most-vulnerable citizens.

“Creating a mental health system that we envision is complex and it can’t happen overnight. I look forward to building on the momentum that we have here today,” Reynolds told the assembled crowd. “There is more to come.”

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