Children’s Mental Health Advocates Urging Leaders to Keep Oversight Board

by Brian Wilson
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Advocates say the state has failed to adequately address a lack of children’s mental health care services in Iowa. Kayla Powell was in the foster care system as a child and, as an adult, has become an advocate for children.

Powell spoke at a statehouse hearing on behalf of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Iowa. She outlined the group’s objection to a plan that would merge the state board created to oversee a children’s mental health system with some other state board, which hasn’t been named.

Powell says youth suicide has reached crisis levels and now is not the time to dial back the state’s focus.

The Children’s Behavioral Health System State Board is one of dozens of state boards included on an initial list for elimination or merger with another board in state government. A review committee will develop its final set of recommendations by the end of the month, then lawmakers will decide whether to follow through on the plan next year.

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