Iowa Republican Senator Joni
Ernst has co-sponsored a bill that speeds up approval for new drug treatments and bolster mental health resources. Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has this report.
Congress passed the “Mental Health Reform Act” this week. It creates a system where states can apply for grants to attract psychiatrists and psychologists to rural areas. It also is aimed at building up community-based mental health care resources. Its provisions are now part of larger legislation that’s headed to President Obama’s desk for approval. Ernst says the measure would streamline the federal government’s many different mental health programs. The bill also calls for federal funding to train local law enforcement officers who are often the first responder to someone who’s having a mental health crisis. For Siouxland Public Media, I’m Mary Hartnett