Gov. Kim Reynolds welcomed the National Education Team from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to Des Moines University (DMU) on Friday, March 23, 2018.

The team is in Iowa to launch the DMU Provider Education Project. The education project will provide primary care physicians with training and skills to recognize mental illness signs in Iowans. Pilot funding for the public-private partnership came from the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation. DMU trains more primary care physicians than any other medical school in the country.

“On behalf of all Iowans, I want to express our deep appreciation to DMU and NAMI for their innovative partnership and the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation for their generous support of this effort,” Gov. Reynolds said. “I’ve asked the Iowa Legislature to appropriate $250,000 for this project, and I will continue to work with them to ensure that happens before they go home this session.”

The State of Iowa redesigned its mental health care system in 2013 to ensure all Iowans have access to the same core services, regardless of location. The mental health care redesign expanded mental health care access to 150,000 Iowans. The state also invested $4 million in a new psychiatric medical residency program to recruit and retain more psychiatrists.

This session, the Iowa Legislature passed a significant mental health care bill to further improve access and care. The legislation includes access centers, assertive community treatment teams, comprehensive crisis services and intensive residential services homes. Gov. Reynolds plans to sign the bill when it reaches her desk.