Mental Health coverage

Mark Becker
The high-profile murder trial of Mark Becker, who stood trial for the murder of his former football coach Ed Thomas, is prompting many to look at mental health coverage in Iowa.

This is a topic we’ve looked at before, but things are always changing in the field of helping stabilize those need treatment. You can view the previous Iowa Journal here. That episode looked at the ‘F’ grade Iowa received in a national mental health care report card.

This time we take stock and look at future needs of mental health services in Iowa.
The feature to set up our discussion included a trip to Fort Dodge and a look at the innovative program called Assertive Community Treatment.

The show airs Thursday at 8p. Do you have questions you want answered about Iowa’s mental health system? Send them to

Here’s the official release from the IPTV press shop.

Mental Health Services in Iowa
On the Thursday, March 4 edition
of The Iowa Journal

(Johnston, Iowa) –Thursday’s episode of The Iowa Journal will look at the status and future needs of mental health services in Iowa. This program airs Thursday, March 4 at 8 p.m. It will be rebroadcast Friday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. on statewide Iowa Public Television and Saturday, March 6 at 8:30 a.m. on IPTV WORLD. It will also be available online at
In recent weeks, attention to mental illness in Iowa has focused on a murder trial where the defendant plead not guilty by reason of insanity. But one high-profile criminal trial does not represent the scope of mental illness, the diverse diagnoses, or the various treatment programs available to all Iowans living with chronic mental illness.
Each Iowa county is responsible for the cost and treatment of the mentally ill who live in their communities. The Iowa Journal visited Fort Dodge to see how an innovative program called Assertive Community Treatment has helped keep people in their homes, and on their medications so they can continue to be active and contributing members in their communities.
In the studio to discuss how to best help those seeking treatment, particularly in a time when the state is making across-the-board budget cuts for many programs and services are three guests: Dr. Michael Flaum, director of the Iowa Consortium of Mental Health; Irene Blair, administrator for Webster County Community Services; and Ro Foege who chaired a recent legislative task force assigned to review Iowa’s four state-run mental health institutes. Foege is also a former legislator from Mount Vernon who worked on mental health legislation among other issues.
For more information about The Iowa Journal, visit or call (515) 242-3146. For information on how to watch IPTV WORLD in your area, visit


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