Iowa panel looks to close mental institution - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa panel looks to close mental institution


DES MOINES (AP) -- One of Iowa's four regional mental health institutions likely will face closure under a review plan now taking place.

The Legislature ordered the review and a recommendation for the closure of one of the institutions in Cherokee, Clarinda, Independence and Mount Pleasant. Officials say the move reflects long-term drops in populations at the institutions and changing views of how to treat people with mental illness.

The facilities were established between 1861 and 1902.

Populations in the centers peaked during the 1940s, when they were home to about 6,000 people. By 2009, the institutions had a total average daily population of 231.

A task force is meeting in all the communities before making recommendations to the Legislature and Human Resources Department.

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