Gov. Kim Reynolds signed her second executive order on Monday, creating a Children’s Mental Health Board and providing the first of many steps to establish a children’s mental health system in Iowa.
Last month, the governor signed comprehensive mental health reform into law. The bipartisan legislation builds on the state’s existing mental health system and provides all Iowans with access to the full array of mental health care they need, no matter where they live.
“As I said in my Condition of the State address, to improve Iowa’s mental health system, we must identify the gaps,” Gov. Reynolds said. “The lack of a coordinated children’s mental health system is a significant gap.”
“This Children’s Mental Health Board will take a comprehensive look at what resources are currently in place and develop a strategic plan with specific recommendations to implement a children’s mental health system,” she continued. “The establishment of this Children’s Mental Health Board lays the foundation of a system that will provide the help Iowa’s youth – and their families – are seeking.”
“Creating a children’s mental health system from scratch is complex, and it will not happen overnight,” Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg said. “But I’ve witnessed the governor’s dedication to addressing the gap in mental health services and systems for children, so I know we won’t stop working to improve our mental health system until we get it right.”
Initially, the Children’s Mental Health Board will develop and recommend specific steps to build an integrated, well-coordinated and sustainable children’s mental health system. Long-term, the board will serve as the state board, providing oversight and technical assistance to the entire system.