Petition to enhance inpatient mental health care access in Iowa
This is a petition to urge Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to consider an alternative to the controversial plan to close two of the 4 state psychiatric hospitals, the Mental Health Institutes (MHI) at Clarinda and Mt. Pleasant. Simply closing the two MHIs would likely worsen the psychiatric bed shortage and increase the crisis of the growing number of mentally ill persons in need of acute inpatient psychiatric care. This has the potential for increasing the risk of violence between patients and caregivers in the remaining hospitals.
The alternative would be to pursue building a large state psychiatric facility similar to the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital in Massachusetts. That would improve the long term care of patients with chronic, severe mental illness, consolidate staff, reduce maintenance costs, and provide a way to bring the best evidence-based practices and the best workers to bring comprehensive mental health services to the patients who need them most.