New UI center looks to improve child mental health services - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New UI center looks to improve child mental health services

Posted:
CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

The Iowa Board of Regents is considering a measure that could have a major influence on the way Iowa children receive mental health services.

The University of Iowa is looking to establish a center dedicated to improving the state's disability and mental health system.

Thursday the Regents will decide whether to accept the recommendation for the plan.

Kim Jensen of Cedar Falls is looking for answers for her 11-year-old daughter, who is battling a severe mental illness called Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Jensen has dealt with the frustration of searching for effective treatment.

"It's extremely frustrating that you have a child that you can't figure out how to help," she said.

Some ten thousand families in Iowa find themselves in similar situations.

A recent study estimates that's the number of children whose mental health needs are being unmet.

"I think we could do so much better about having wrap around services available for these children and having team meetings where everybody is invited to the table," Jensen said.

As part of the state's overall mental health redesign, a new idea looks to better coordinate services across the state.

"We want children to ultimately reach their optimal potential," said Dr. Debra Waldron with the UI Children's Hospital, who also serves as Vice Chair for Child Health Policy and Statewide Health Services.

The University of Iowa is looking to create the Center for Child Health Improvement and Innovation.

The new center would create a team in charge of developing and implementing guidelines for treating kids battling mental illness in all 99 counties .

The group would also provide technical assistance in training community providers.

"We need to make it the norm that emotional, behavioral, and mental health services are well-coordinated with the rest of the health care so there are no barriers," Waldron said..

The hope is a new system can finally get the results families like the Jensen's have been so desperately searching for.

"If you're not working with them in their childhood until they turn 18, then you lose control," Jensen said.

  • NEWSNEWSMore>>

  • Learn about your yard, and what wants to live in it

    Learn about your yard, and what wants to live in it

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:34 AM EDT2014-07-30 14:34:42 GMT
    To help residents learn how to create beautiful, yet low-maintenance yards that benefit the environment, Backyard Abundance is hosting a free yard tour Saturday, Aug. 2 in Iowa City.More >>
    To help residents learn how to create beautiful, yet low-maintenance yards that benefit the environment, Backyard Abundance is hosting a free yard tour Saturday, Aug. 2 in Iowa City.More >>
  • Frederika bar burns down

    Frederika bar burns down

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:19 AM EDT2014-07-30 14:19:53 GMT
    Firefighters spent the night battling a large fire at the Bottomz Up Bar & Grill in Frederika.More >>
    Firefighters spent the night battling a large fire at the Bottomz Up Bar & Grill in Frederika.More >>
  • Fish-O-Rama registration opens Wednesday

    Fish-O-Rama registration opens Wednesday

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:09 AM EDT2014-07-30 13:09:54 GMT
    Registration for the twelfth annual Fish-O-Rama begins Wednesday at noon at Manhattan Pavilion of Robbins Lake in Cedar Rapids.More >>
    Registration for the twelfth annual Fish-O-Rama begins Wednesday at noon at Manhattan Pavilion of Robbins Lake in Cedar Rapids.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KWWL. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Sandy Youngblut at 319-291-1259. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.