TRAUMA MAMAS: Push For Mental Health Funding

A group of moms brought a message to the Capitol Wednesday.  They’re pushing for more funding for children’s mental health services.

They call themselves the Trauma Mamas.  They met in doctors offices in the Waterloo area.  About 20 strong, they provide support for one another.  Now, they’re joining forces to lobby lawmakers.

“I have children that you need to monitor all of the time,” says Alissa Tschetter- Siedschlaw.

“We can’t have our friends and family watch her.  She’s too violent.  Hitting and kicking, breaking windows, jumping out windows,” explains Kim Jensen.

Many of them are adoptive parents.

“I was given a kid who came from horrible circumstances who was prone to violence, who was prone to delusions, prone to all of these things and I’m doing my best to clean it up, but I need help,” says Tschetter-Siedschlaw.

But they don’t always find the help they need in Iowa.  Some have sent their child out-of-state for care.  More than 16,000 people are on the waiting list for the Children Mental Health Waiver that provides respite care.

“That is a pretty significant number of people and know that’s about a two year wait to access those services,” says State Rep. Lisa Heddens, (D) Ames.

Heddens says Democrats will ask for the $8.7 million needed to fund the wait list.  Lawmakers approved the money last year, but Governor Branstad vetoed it.

“He said said last year that he didn’t agree with the buying down of the waiver and wanted to look for some other alternative, but he has not come forth with another alternative,” says Heddens.

Leaving these moms on a mission to fight for funding to help their families and other who share their common bond.

The Governor’s Office says Governor Branstad is committed to a sustainable mental health system that benefits all Iowans.  In the last two years, the state has invested $138-million in new funding for services.


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