IOWA: Governor Signs Mental Health, Suicide Prevention Bills
April 27, 2018
Iowa has enacted two new laws that aim to address mental health issues and suicide across the state. House File 2456 expands mental health care services, including six new access centers that will serve as more affordable alternatives to psychiatric hospitals for people in crisis. It also lifts the cap on subacute beds in mental health care facilities, increases treatment teams available to people with chronic mental illness, and allows clinicians to make determinations about psychiatric hospitalizations instead of judges. The other law, Senate File 2113, requires school staff who work with students to receive suicide awareness and prevention training. It also calls on Iowa school districts to adopt protocols for identifying and assisting students in distress. Mental health advocate and suicide loss survivor Mary Neubauer helped push for the legislation. “This puts in place a framework for the real work to begin to develop the programs and to put in place the capacity and the help that is needed,” she said.
Spark Extra! Learn more about suicide prevention in Iowa.