DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has proposed closing two of the state’s four mental health institutions. Iowa’s mental health institutions are located in Independence, Cherokee, Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. Amy Lorentzen McCoy, an Iowa Department of Human Services spokeswoman, said Wednesday that Branstad didn’t include funding for the Clarinda and Mount Pleasant facilities in his budget proposal released this week. Money to the facilities will be cut off July 1st. The Des Moines Register reports the institutions have experienced a population decline for decades, with only 24 residents currently at Clarinda facility and 47 in Mount Pleasant. McCoy says a 2009 taskforce previously recommended closure under Governor Chet Culver, but the proposal was dropped. Branstad also discussed consolidating mental health services last month, but said there were no immediate plans to do so. The mental health institutions in Independence and Cherokee will remain open.
(Photo courtesy of Independence Mental Health Institute website)