Expert: Waiting days for mental health care in Iowa is new norm

Expert: Waiting days for mental health care in Iowa is new norm


>>THIS IS IOWA’S NEWS LEADER,
KCCI 8 NEWS AT 6:00. STACEY: 47 HOURS. THAT’S HOW LONG A 16-YEAR-OLD
IOWA GIRL WAITED TO BE ADMITTED
AFTER SHE WAS AFRAID SHE WOULD
HURT HERSELF. STEVE: KCCI INVESTIGATIVE
REPORTER ALEX SCHUMAN
LOOKS INTO THIS STATEWIDE
PROBLEM AND SHOWS US WHAT CAN BE
DONE.>>SHE THOUGHT SHE NEED TO GO
AND IT SOME HELP. ALEX: AMANDA STONE-JANSSEN
FOSTER PARENT SHE FELT SHE
NEEDED TO GO AND GET SOME HELP. AMANDA STONE-JANSSEN AND HER
HUSBAND JON’S FOSTER DAUGHTER
FELT SHE COULD BE A RISK TO
HERSELF. THEY TOOK HER HERE TO THE
HOSPITAL IN FORT DODGE HOPING
THAT SHE WOULD BE ADMITTED.>>WE BASICALLY JUST SAT IN THE
WAITING ROOM FOR 47 HOURS,
WAITING. ALEX HOSPITAL STAFF PLACED HER
: IN A ROOM LIKE THIS, DESIGNED
SPECIFICALLY TO HELP PROTECT
SOMEONE FROM HURTING THEMSELVES.>>IT’S A COMPLETELY BARREN
ROOM. ALEX THE HOSPITAL CLOSED THEIR
: MENTAL HEALTH IN-PATIENT CARE
UNIT IN 2008 BECAUSE THERE
WEREN’T ENOUGH PEOPLE TO STAFF
IT. SO, ALL THE E.R. STAFF COULD DO WAS CALL AROUND
THE STATE HOPING ONE OF THE
STATE’S 64 BEDS WOULD OPEN-UP.>>THE STAFF WERE PHENOMENAL AT
THE HOSPITAL. THEY WERE NICE, THEY WERE
COURTEOUS, BUT THEY COULDN’T
OFFER ANY LEGITIMATE HELP. ABOUT FOUR TO SIX HOURS THEY
WOULD CALL AROUND TO ALL THE
FACILITIES AND SAY, ’WHO HAS A
BED OPEN?’
PALEX THIS IS A STORY PEGGY
: HUPPERT WITH THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS HEARS
ALL THE TIME.>>IN A LOT OF CASES WHAT
HAPPENS IS THEY SIT IN THE
EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT FOR TWO OR
THREE OR FOUR DAYS. FINALLY, EVERYONE AGREES, HE
SEEMS OK, LET’S JUST SEND HIM
HOME. ADAM: — ALEX STATE LEGISLATORS
: PASSED MAJOR MENTAL HEALTH
REFORMS IN 2018. NEW CRISIS CENTERS ARE REQUIRED
TO HAVE AT LEAST 16 BEDS AND
MORE OUT-PATIENT SERVICES. THE PROBLEM, ACCORDING TO
HUPPERT, IS THAT IT WAS UNFUNDED
MANDATE.>>WE’RE NOT ALLOWING THEM TO
RAISE THE LEVY ENOUGH TO PAY FOR
THEM. ALEX CURRENT STATE LAW CAPS HOW
: MUCH CAN BE SPENT ON MENTAL
HEALTH FROM PROPERTY TAXES. THE HIGHEST AMOUNT A REGION CAN
SPEND IS $47.28 PER PERSON. HUPPERT SAYS THE INCONSISTENCY
IS CAUSING GAPS IN CAR
>>DIFFERENT COUNTIES AND
REGIONS HAVE DIFFERENT
SITUATIONS, BUT THE OVERALL
PROBLEM IS THEY’RE HAMSTRUNG.>>THERE’S NO TRACTION. THERE’S NO FUNDING. THERE’S NO REAL WEIGHT TO THE
LAWS. THEY’RE FEEL GOOD LAWS. AND FEEL GOOD LAWS DON’T SOLVE
REAL PROBLEMS. ALEX: AT THE 47TH HOUR, THEY
LEARNED A BED OPEN IN CHEROKEE. SHE HAS GOTTEN THE TREATMENT SHE
NEEDED, BUT IT DOESN’T STOP
THOSE WHO LOVE HER FROM
WONDERING, WHY DOES IT NEED TO
BE THIS WAY?>>WHAT IS IT TEACHING OUR KIDS
IF THEY GO TO A HOSPITAL AND
THEY DON’T GET THE HELP THEY
NEED BY THE WAY AND IT’S KIND OF
PUSHED OFF AND SAYING NOT YET,
NOT YET, NOT YET. ARE THEY GOING TO ASK FOR HELP
THE NEXT TIME? ALEX: WE TRY TO GET VIDEO INSIDE
OF ONE OF THE ROOMS WHERE AT
RISK PEOPLE ARE ASKED TO WAIT,
BUT NO ONE COULD HELP US BECAUSE
THEY WERE FULL. THEY WORRY L

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