Background: Access to well-child visits to determine ongoing health and mental health needs are critical to a child’s development. 1 in 5 Iowa children suffer from a mental health condition in their childhood or adolescence, yet only about 1.5% of these youth accesses treatment. Children with a mental health diagnosis are at-risk for dropping out of school, entering into the juvenile justice system, becoming homeless, and inflicting self-harm. The lack of a statewide children’s mental health system means existing services are uncoordinated, difficult to navigate, and are not uniformly available across the state. Additionally, considering that children comprise half of Iowa’s Medicaid population, the concerns surrounding our managed care system has immediate impacts on the health of our kids.
What actions will you take to ensure access to services to address the developmental, emotional, and mental health needs of infants, children and young adults?