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Supervisors OK Seasons contract

By Staff | May 11, 2011

The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a mental health center affiliation/contract with Season Center for Mental Health.

According to Dorothy Christensen, Emmet County mental health coordinator, the contract is needed to receive federal block grant money for outpatient mental health services.

In other business, Christensen reviewed mental health program redesign in the Iowa Legislature. She said the House Tuesday was debating Senate File 525, a compromise bill establishing six interim committees to examine services to children, persons with brain injuries, mental health, developmental disabilities, regional administration and property taxes.

Christensen said Gov. Terry Branstad signed into law Senate File 209 April 21. The law repeals Fund 10 for mental health and puts $200 million into a pool for counties on waiting lists for individuals needing services.

Christensen also talked about a push at the state level for regionalization of mental health services.

“I don’t know that regionalization is necessarily the answer,” Christensen said. “We are where we are because promises weren’t kept” by the state.

Acknowledging some benefits to regionalization – by reducing administrative costs – Christensen said regionalization of mental health could eventually resemble the state Department of Human Services.

In another matter, Deb Tietje, veterans affairs director, requested and received permission to use grant money to attend a national conference in Biloxi, Miss. June 4-10.