Reynolds takes ‘first step’ in children’s mental health plan

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued an order to begin establishing a children's mental health service system in the coming years.

Reynolds signed an executive order Monday creating a state board, calling it a "first step." The board will submit recommendations on how Iowa can better serve children in the state's "inadequate" mental health system.

The board will be made up of mental health professionals, state agency representatives, lawmakers and others. Reynolds said it will build on efforts by previous groups. A similar process resulted in bipartisan legislation Reynolds signed last month to expand mental health systems for adults.

Reynolds said initial funding for the children's system might be found within existing funds. She said "at some point" the effort would require additional money. The expanded adult services are expected to cost more than $31 million in the first two years.