Lawmakers Approve Combined System For Mental Health, Substance Use Treatment

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa legislature has approved the governor’s plan to create a combined system to help Iowans with a mental illness as well as those with addiction issues.

Republican Representative Joel Fry of Osceola says it’s the culmination of many years of work to improve services.

There are currently 13 mental health regions and 19 separate substance use treatment regions in Iowa. On July 1st of next year, they’ll be combined into seven behavioral health districts. Advocates say it will be particularly helpful for people who have a mental health diagnosis and also need treatment for substance abuse. The bill does not provide a new source of funding for the system, but state officials say after the merger, they’ll be able to use 23 million dollars that hasn’t been spent in some of the mental health regions.


Local News