Mental Health Services Bill

The Iowa House of Representatives passed the mental health care services bill on February 27, 2018. Terms throughout the bill include access centers, both crisis residential and sub-acute, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams, Intensive Residential Service Homes (IRSH), mobile response, 23-hour crisis observation and holding, and Tertiary Care Hospitals.

The access centers will be specifically designated crisis residential/sub-acute services that provide immediate, short-term assessment and treatment services to individuals that do not require impatient psychiatric hospital level of care, but need significant amounts of support and services not readily available to the individual. The Assertive Community Treatment teams provide team-based individualized treatment and support to individuals with mental illness 24/7. The IRSH will serve adults that have been diagnosed with a mental illness with an additional diagnosis like an intellectual disability or substance abuse disorder by offering 24-hour supervised and monitored treatment. The ACT teams will provide mobile response to an individual experiencing a mental health crisis. A 23-hour crisis center will offer a level of care up to 23 hours in a secure and supervised treatment environment. Tertiary Care Hospitals entail highly specialized medical care over a period of time that involves procedures and treatments by medical specialists in state of the art facilities.

A mental health care professional may disclose mental health information relating to an individual without the individual’s consent if the disclosure is made in good faith, necessary to prevent a threat, and the individual has intent to carry out the threat. If an individual is committed under this law, they may be released by a doctor’s orders rather than by a judge.