DES MOINES, Iowa — Governor Kim Reynolds signed an an executive order Monday that establishes a new state children's mental health board, which she says is one of several steps to bring a mental health system for children to Iowa.
Reynolds, joined by mental health advocates in her formal office Monday, told reporters at her weekly press conference that the children's mental health program in the state is not where it needs to be, so she is tasking a state board to develop a "integrated" and "sustainable" system for children.
“The lack of a coordinated children’s mental health system is a significant gap," Reynolds said. “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."
Reynolds signed an expansive, bipartisan mental health bill into law last month, which focused on making several improvements to Iowa's mental health care system for adults.
“I’m excited to continue working with Iowa’s families, advocates and this children’s mental health board to make sure that no parent, child, friend or neighbor has to suffer in silence when it comes to mental health," Reynolds said.
Reynolds has not yet chosen the board but indicated it will happen as soon as possible.