Bed shortage for mental health patients affecting Iowans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Bed shortage for mental health patients affecting Iowans

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After reporting stories about Iowa's bed shortage problem for mental health patients, more parents have been reaching out to share their experiences, including one Cedar Falls family.

Talissa Sherberne, 14, was diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, which makes social interaction like school or even sitting at home, confrontational.

Talissa's mother, Jodi, says Iowa's lack of mental health resources makes life difficult.

Jodi Sherburne is a single mom, and she's trying to do it all on her own.

During the last year and a half, she's had to bring Talissa to the Emergency Room three times to treat her depression.

"She could be sitting here, just fine as could be, and then you just ask her a question, and she could just blow up at any given time," Sherberne said.

After Talissa was treated in Waterloo, she was sent to Mason City the second time due to a bed shortage.

The last time, she was sent to Iowa City.

"I just came home, and I cried. I told them to please call me as soon as they got there, because I worried the whole way, was my daughter going to make it there safe? Was she with someone safe? Because, how am I to know," Jodi said.

This week, Talissa has been doing well, but that wasn't the case last week.

"Finally the principal called and said, 'Jodi, I've tried everything. I'm going to have to send her home,' " Jodi said.

Jodi said it's frustrating asking for help here at home and knowing the best she can do for Talissa is sending her away.

"A lot of parents are on a budget. They don't have the funds to go travel to go see their children," Jodi said.

Right now, Talissa talks to a school counselor every week in Cedar Falls, she is also meets with a psychiatrist in Waterloo to treat her ODD, and she is also set up to meet with another counselor later this month.

She's also taking medication.

Please stay with KWWL News on-air and online as we continue to dig deeper into Iowa's bed shortage problem for mental health patients.

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