June 30, 2015
The Honorable Terry Branstad
1007 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
Dear Governor Branstad:
We respectfully urge your administration to apply for a planning grant from the federal government that could lead to significant additional funding for mental health services and addiction treatment for thousands of Iowans.
The new federal funding was established in the Excellence in Mental Health Act, passed by Congress in a March 2014 bipartisan vote. The Act is designed to increase access to community mental health and substance use treatment centers – services for which there is great need in our state – and authorizes a total of $1.1 billion to be spent on two-year pilot programs in eight states.
If our state was selected for the pilot program, thousands of residents would have greater access to much needed services, including crisis response and suicide prevention; alcohol and drug abuse treatment; comprehensive outpatient mental health services; and help for special populations such as veterans and children.
The deadline for applying for the planning grant is August 5. Up to 25 states will be awarded planning grants, and only those will be eligible to be selected as one of the eight states. This is an incredible opportunity to expand addiction and mental health services in our state, and we strongly urge your administration to apply for the grant funds. Thank you.
Dee Dee Chance
Paul J. Fitzgerald
Abbe Center for Community Mental Health
Joel L. Olah