Iowa governor to use $50M in federal money for mental health


Associated Press

URBANDALE — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday she would spend $50 million in federal funding on adult and childhood mental health and substance abuse programs.

The money is part of the state’s allocation from the $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package, known as the CARES Act, that was approved by Congress and signed by the president in March.

Reynolds said $30 million will be used for mental health services administered regionally across the state to help cover increased need resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The remaining $20 million will go to mental health and substance abuse providers to cover increased costs.

Reynolds said stress caused by the coronavirus has increased the need for mental health services.

“The last several months also have made it more tempting to turn to behaviors that might distract us from the anxiety and the stress, from online gambling to increased substance abuse or alcohol consumption,” she said.

Iowa Department of Human Services Director Kelly Garcia said the money would be distributed to mental health regions based on population. Some of the details are still being worked out, she said.