Legislators discuss mental health priorities at forum

The 2nd of three legislative forums took place Saturday morning in Ottumwa.

Three Iowa state legislators made an appearance at this month's forum.

One of those was Representative Larry Sheets.

We caught up with Sheets to discuss a number of topics concerning the state of Iowa.

Mental health priorities was one of those topics.

Sheets said regionalization of mental health doesn't seem to be working.

He said counties need more responsibility when it comes to the subject.

"I do support though, however, having centralization of key people like psychiatrists to deal with the very severely, mentally disturbed--those that are violent--but otherwise I think it's better to distribute it throughout the counties," said Sheets.

Sheets said the mental health reform that recently took place in Iowa shouldn't have happened.

We also spoke with Representative Mary Gaskill about the topic of mental health priorities.

Gaskill said the state needs to work on mental health policies.

"I'm seriously concerned," said Gaskill. "I've been talking with a ranking member on mental health budget issues, and it's a real concern."

Gaskill said she is worried that members of the House aren't going to focus on making changes.

She said ensuring citizens with these issues are taken care of should be the top priority.