Mental Health Systems in Iowa

Feb 28, 2018

In the aftermath of mass shootings, we often hear about the importance of mental health diagnoses and treatment.

On this edition of River to River, we explore the services being provided in Iowa and as well as the mental health needs of the state in the near future.

A recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows nearly three-quarters of Iowans believe the state’s mental-health system is in crisis or is a big problem.  

Dr. Michael Flaum, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa and president of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists, says that delivery of mental health services might not be the most efficient.

"We have people that are in need of help right now, and there's an opportunity for help and maybe a willingness that's not always there," Flaum says. "Somehow we've got to figure out a way to make services available where they are needed and when they are needed."

Also joining the program: Carrie Clogg, the parent of a child with mental illness and a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Iowa Board Member; Peggy Huppert, the executive director of NAMI Iowa; and Rick Shults, administrator of Mental Health and Disability Services for DHS. 

The discussion also includes a reaction to President Trump advocating for the reopening of mental institutions.