DHS Moving Forward With Plan to Close Two Mental Health Facilities

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- With funding set to run out on June 30th, the Iowa Department of Human Services is following through with plans to close two of the state's mental health facilities.

"We will be closing facilities operating in Clarinda and the Mount Pleasant facility,” said Rick Shults, an administrator with Iowa DHS.

Governor Branstad announced his plans to close the facilities back in January.

DHS says the move will save the state about $7 million in 2016.

Layoffs have already started in Mount Pleasant.

In Clarinda, there are 76 employees. A dozen of them will take on new jobs with the Iowa Department of Corrections. The rest will receive layoff notices at least 20 days before funding runs out.

Substance abuse patients in Mount Pleasant will finish their treatment.

Elderly or gero-psychiatric patients in Clarinda will be sent to community facilities.

A handful of adults receiving long term psychiatric care in Clarinda will be moved to an expanded facility in Independence.

"We have had over the past several decades consultants and other groups come in and look at realignment of the mental health facilities. This is not a new concept of looking at streamlining these operations,” said Amy McCoy, a spokesperson for Iowa DHS.

There is currently a bill being debated at the statehouse that could extend funding to both facilities.

Both sides say little progress has been made in getting it past.

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