Big changes coming to Iowas mental health system

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(The Center Square) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill Wednesday that creates seven new mental health districts.

The comprehensive bill realigns the state’s 32 regions.

“By bringing services together in this way, we will enable better coordination of care supporting the best possible outcomes for each individual. It’s what Iowans deserve, and it’s what we intend to deliver,” Reynolds said. “The new system will be comprised of seven districts, each with a lead agency and an advisory board to maintain strong local connections. Additionally, each district will be required to provide a standard set of core services, ensuring consistent care systemwide.”

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services will oversee the seven districts, define the boundaries and create performance metrics, Reynolds said.

The governor also signed a bill Wednesday that changes the standards for teaching social studies in state schools by requiring teaching on the world wars, the Holocaust, 9/11 and the Constitution.

“At a time when so many young people today fail to learn the lessons of history, this legislation will help to keep Iowa on a different and better path,” Reynolds said. “It will also ensure we provide our students with the foundation necessary to be active participants in our democracy – the best form of government in the world.”

The bill signing was held at the Beit Shalom Jewish Community.

“As part of a broader update to our educational standards designed to promote a deeper understanding of both American civics and Western history, this bill specifically requires that students be taught about the Holocaust,” Reynolds said. “It also requires instruction on the broader context of World War II, as well as the significance of ancient Israel.”

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