While the Governor and key legislators already have rejected the idea of closing two of the state’s four mental institutes, the proposal is still part of a special commission’s recommendations for streamlining state government. Margaret Stout of the Iowa Alliance for the Mentally Ill says the idea of closing the state mental health institutes has been floated before, but never came to pass..But Stout isn’t convinced the idea of closing the mental health institutes is dead, especially since the feds are encouraging states to treat the mentally ill in a home-like rather than institutional atmosphere. Stout says her association’s main goal is to get the legislature to pass a law that’d force insurance companies to cover mental illness the same way they cover physical illnesses.
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