WEST DES MOINES – In a sit-down interview with Local 5, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa) talked about the new children’s mental health system that was legislated in the 2019 session.
Local 5’s Sabrina Ahmed asked her about questions regarding funding for the new system.
“So that’s part of the problem. I think people don’t realize that between federal and state dollars, we already invest almost $200 million into children’s mental health,” said Reynolds. “But what the problem is or part of the problem is, our parents don’t know where to even begin to start to access the services. Now, I’m not saying that it’s not going to take additional services, but there’s a great deal of money that’s already going into the system. And we just need to make sure it’s so with a structure and with a system, it will help parents know where to begin and how to start to access some of the services that we have the 24 seven hotline and just other components of it, I think will help start to help parents and families and educators be aware of what the services are. We were able to I asked for money to buy down the waitlist for the children’s mental health. We were able to do that this year and then additional money to help educate our teachers so that they can start to identify some early warning signs which they are so appreciative that they want to help.”
The establishment of a children’s mental health system has been in the works for years.