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Iowa Mental Health Services Top Of Mind For Legislators

DES MOINES, Iowa--  Two new mental health bills were signed into law Thursday morning.

Both aiming to improve mental health services across Iowa.

A recent poll shows 73 percent of Iowans think out mental health system is in a crisis.

People showed up to watch the governor sign bills to improve the overall system.

Before singing two new mental health bills into Governor Kim Reynolds praised legislators.

“How proud I am to work with the legislators in the house and senate who came together on this extremely important issue," Governor Reynolds said.

Especially important to the Carico's.

The family had pictures of their son Cameron on their clothes.

Cameron committed suicide six years ago.

Strengthening school based mental health services is their top priority.

“Make sure that teachers who are on the front line who are working with our kids every day have the training to be able to recognize,” Cameron’s dad Mike Carico said. “Not be councilors or therapist but first aid people".

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention suicide is the third leading cause of death in children aged ten to fourteen.

“The more we talk about it and bring down the stigma students are also feeling comfortable," Cameron’s mom Dawn Carico said.

While the Carico’s are most concerned about youth, the other bill signed by the governor is geared towards Iowans with complex mental health disorders.

“This is an important step forward to insure Iowa adults have access to the full array of mental health services," Governor Reynolds said.

Both bills open the door for local nonprofits like the Cameron Carico Plus Ten Foundation.

Born from Cameron’s death, the program trains educators on how to spot the signs of mental illness and kids in crisis.

“This is the start hopefully more and more schools take on more trainings and Iowa moves up to one of the best mental health trainings in the nation," Mike Cameron with Cameron Carico Plus Ten Foundation said.

Click here for more information on how to get involved with the Cameron Carico Plus Ten Foundation.