Iowa MHI Closure Plan Meets Constructive Activism

Well, the Iowa Wesleyan nursing students just delivered a blockbuster petition protesting Governor Terry Branstad’s plan to close the Mental Health Institutes (MHIs) at Mt. Pleasant and Clarinda. Over 7,000 signatures so far and growing. Wow!

Consider signing the other petition which is geared more toward developing a vision for long term inpatient mental health care access, similar to the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital . One of my colleagues stopped by my office and offered to pass on that message to legislators in Des Moines, for which I’m very grateful.

Since I could not figure out a way to actually read Dr. Potash’s letter embedded in the online Des Moines Register story and which outlines his proposal that Iowa consider a new vision for inpatient mental health care access, I’ve posted it below. While one could debate the details, the overall message is tough to argue with..Iowa needs a plan for how to improve care for those with severe, persistent mental illness.

On the other hand, you can’t have a dialogue if somebody’s ignoring you. So far, Governor Branstad is not listening, and while he continues to say that his office is working with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to replace the beds lost by the MHI closures, there is no evidence that any such conversation is happening.

But we can applaud the efforts so far of constructive activism by all of those committed to a greater vision for mental health care for Iowans.


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