• What is a core mental health service? Does it matter?

    One of the building blocks of the mental health redesign in 2011 was the creation of a set of core services in the Iowa Code. Like many, you may be wondering what is a core service? And, why was that important? When I began working on the system in Iowa, each…

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  • 5 Major Pieces in the Children’s Mental Health Law

    Finally! On May 1, the Governor will sign the bill creating a children’s mental health system in Iowa. Many people have worked tirelessly over decades to get to this point. What does it mean to finally have a system in Iowa for kids? The legislation did 5 major things. It created a…

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  • 3 challenges facing children’s MH legislation in Iowa

      How do we overcome the challenges facing the children’s mental health legislation in Iowa? 1 in 5 children ages 5-18 have or will have serious mental illness, according to the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill. Iowa has some great services, but it does not have a system for kids. In…

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  • A Mental health blog? Why?

    In 2005, I was asked why I would want to run for the state Senate. I said, “If I ran it would be to fix the mental health system in Iowa.” I was quickly told, “Nobody runs to do that.” Well I ran to do it. And, I have been working…

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