Disability Rights Iowa is suing the state for providing inadequate mental health resources to what they claim are young people.
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Local disability rights groups are suing the state of Iowa for providing what they claim are inadequate mental health resources.
Katherine Johnson, Executive Director of Iowa Disability Rights, said:
The lawsuit alleges that Iowa has consistently failed to provide legally required and medically necessary intensive home services to young people with severe emotional disorders.
“The overall picture of this litigation is to provide these legally necessary services, the rights of plaintiffs’ children under the federal Medicaid Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act to these services in a comprehensive environment. It’s about the state’s responsibility to do so,” Johnson said.
About 87,000 Iowa children have been diagnosed with mental health problems, according to Johnson.
She also shared a 2021 report cited in the lawsuit. Iowa ranks her 41st worst in the country for providing mental health care to children aged 12 to her 17.
Johnson argues that the need for help is great, but that many children who suffer terribly are left without adequate resources.
“They are unnecessarily placed in positions where they have to go to the hospital and sit in the ER for hours at a time,” Johnson said. There is no help for you here, and from there you go home without any help.”
Local 5 reached out to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services for information about mental health resources available in the state, but the department declined to comment.
The Iowa Department of Health also declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said in a statement: For the next three years. ”
As for Disability Rights Iowa, it claims to be ready to fight for better care.
“It’s time to act,” Johnson said. “These are serious mental health needs that our state is not addressing.”