House File 2456 (HF 2456) provides for six mental health “access centers” offering immediate short-term crisis care, 22 Assertive Community Treatment Teams, and the development of intensive residential service homes, among other provisions.
What is the current state of mental health provision in the state of Iowa?
The state has faced a critical shortage of acute psychiatric services since the closure in 2015 of two of its four state mental hospitals when then-Gov. Terry Branstad declared them outdated. Iowa ranks last in the country for state mental hospital beds per capita, with just two beds for every 100,000 Iowa residents, compared with a national average of 12 for every 100,000 people, according to a 2016 report by the Treatment Advocacy Center. Making matters worse, a string of local hospitals has also trimmed or shuttered their psychiatric units in recent years, citing financial losses.
For the 10-year study, researchers are recruiting and following 1,500 teens and young adults (ages 10-24). The participants will regroup every four to six months and do a series of tests, including brain imaging, behavioral tests and tasks to assess emotion processing.
Despite international consensus on the harmful effects of valproate during pregnancy, women should not be denied the human right to make their own decisions after fully informed discussion.
It’s Not That Simple
Instead of saying, ‘We’ll start an antidepressant and hope that in 4 to 6 weeks you’ll have some response,’ we could talk about people no longer suffering 60 hours later. And that’s just mind-blowing in terms of the degree of suffering that women have and our ability to address that quickly,” said Dr. Meltzer-Brody.