COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH COORDINATOR WEIGHS IN ON GOVERNORS MENTAL HEALTH VISION
(Atlantic) Cass County Mental Health Coordinator Teresa Kanning is reacting to Governor Branstad’s vision for mental health services in the state. Earlier this week Branstad told reporters his goal is to establish a statewide system of care that would replace the 99-plans for mental health care that is in the 99-counties. Branstad also stated that the current 99-counties are lacking in access to crisis care, a uniform level in investment and differences in levels of care, quality and access.
Kanning says there has been a lot of talk and discussion in regards to how the state handles mental health services for the past 16-years.
“There has been a lot of talk and discussion ever since 1995 when Senate file 69 was passed about how to restructure the mental health services for the mentally ill, mentally retarded, and developmentally disabled and so we’ve participated in that process the whole way through,” said Kanning.
Therefore, Kanning was a little surprised when the Governor stated the 99-counties not working together.
“When I saw the Governor’s vision for mental health reform in his press release on Monday I was surprised because it makes it look like counties have chosen to not be players at the table and chosen to not help reform that system and that’s certainly not true in any way,” said Kanning.
Governor Branstad says the State of Iowa currently spends $1.3 billion in this system. Kanning says the counties actually contribute $118,320,396.00 annually to mental health services, the federal government kicks in $1.3 billion, and the state actually contributes closer to $150 million.