New Law Bill Expand Iowa’s Mental Health Services

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new law is expanding access to mental health services across Iowa.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation Thursday at a ceremony in the state Capitol rotunda that creates six access centers to provide short-term care for people in crisis. The legislation also doubles the number of teams across the state that provide 24/7 flexible treatment and support to patients.

The nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency estimates the total cost at more than $31 million over two years. Funding would come from federal, state and local taxes. Iowa’s 14 mental health regions would spend down excess cash reserves to pay for initial costs.

Reynolds also signed a bill requiring Iowa school districts to train educators on how to identify and help students at risk of suicide.

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