Lawsuit: Failures for Children’s mental health

[anvplayer video=”5156650″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – A class action lawsuit has been filed against the state of Iowa brought on by a number of groups including Disability Rights Iowa.

It claims the state is failing to provide mental health care for thousands of Medicaid eligible children.

The filing comes as children in the country face unprecedented mental health challenges and the need for services reaching crisis levels.

According to the lawsuit, Iowa is ranked 41st worst in the nation for number of children suffering from at least one major depressive episode in the last year.

We spoke to the national health law program on this topic and experts there say there is a correlation between early childhood and adulthood.

ABC 6 News did reach out to Governor Kim Reynold’s office and the Iowa Department of Health and Human services.

HHS said they are aware of the lawsuit and says they do not comment on pending litigation.

But issued this response saying quote:

“The state remains committed to serving all iowans with special health care needs, especially children. We take our role serving iowans seriously, as demonstrated by our transformational work over the past three years which will continue.”

“Without these services, kids really are failed over and over, over multiple years and then they graduate into the adult system and sometimes like the criminal justice system or mental health where even less is available to them, so it really is a sequence of failures that ultimately spiral into a place of these kids being continuously in trouble,” said Cathrine Johnson, Executive Director at Disability Rights Iowa.