Governor Kim Reynolds has signed two bills into law that are designed to address a lack of treatment options for Iowans seeking mental health care services.
One bill sets up a loan repayment program for students who agree to work in an underserved are of Iowa after they get a degree in the mental health field. Representative Timi Brown-Powers of Waterloo said it will hopefully boost the number of mental health professionals working in rural Iowa.
“Right now we are only meeting 40% of the need of mental health folks in the state of Iowa, so this bill through student aid, I hope, will expand feet on the ground, hands in the air for our folks with mental illness,” Brown-Powers said earlier this year during House debate of the bill.
The other new law will let a state board issue provisional licenses to doctoral students in psychology — so they can practice during their internship with a license psychologist. Senator Jeff Edler of State Center said it’s another in a long line of bills that have addressed the workforce shortage in the mental health field.
“You know this will help provide avenues for treatment for people in mental health distress,” Edler said last month during Senate debate.
Governor Kim Reynolds signed a total of 21 bills into law on Monday. One will let adults with liability insurance drive all-terrain vehicles on two-lane primary highways — if the ATV is equipped with headlights. Another will increase the state incentive to school districts that share superintendents, special education directors and school resource officers.