The Iowa Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council (MHPC) is a state advisory body authorized by federal law (42 U.S.C. Section 300x) and required as a condition for the receipt of federal Community Mental Health Services Block Grant funding. States are also required to submit annual applications to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and demonstrate compliance with federal requirements receive block grant funds.
The objective of block grant funding is to support the State in providing comprehensive, community-based mental health services to adults with serious mental illnesses and to children with serious emotional disturbances and to monitor progress in implementing a comprehensive, community-based mental health system.
The MHPC consists of thirty-three voting members nominated and elected by majority vote of the Council membership. The members include individuals with lived experience in recovery, providers, family members, State agency representatives, and other advocates with the purpose of providing input to, and evaluation and oversight of, the Iowa mental health system.
The Council is governed by bylaws developed and passed by the membership. Council members are elected to three-year staggered terms and may be reelected without term limit. Members elect a Chairperson, Vice-Chair, and Secretary annually.
Representation on the Council is governed by federal requirements and the bylaws. Members must be Iowa residents. The membership categories are:
- Seven members representing the principal State agencies responsible for mental health, education, vocational rehabilitation, criminal justice, housing, social services, and the State Medicaid Agency
- Six members representing public and private entities concerned with the need, planning, operation, funding, and use of mental health services and related support services
- Six adults in recovery who have lived experience with serious mental illness (who are receiving or have received mental health services)
- Four family members of adults with serious mental illness
- Six parents, guardians, or primary caretakers of children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance
- Four other individuals with an interest in mental health issues
Additional membership requirements:
- Not less than 50 percent of the members of the Council are individuals who are not State employees or providers of mental health services.
- In 2010 the Iowa Legislature acted to require that the membership include a military veteran who is knowledgeable concerning the behavioral and mental health issues of veterans (Iowa Code 225C.4)
MHPC Purpose: The purpose of the Iowa Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council is:
- To review the Community Mental Health Block Grant Plan and make recommendations to the Iowa Department of Human Services.
- To monitor, review, and evaluate, not less than once each year, the allocation and adequacy of mental health services within the State.
- To serve as advocates for adults with a serious mental illness, children with a serious emotional disturbance, and other individuals with mental health needs.
The Council’s bylaws create three standing committees are Executive, Monitoring and Oversight, and Nominations.
MHPC Vision: All Iowans have access to comprehensive mental health services and supports, hope for recovery, and resilience within the community of their choice.
MHPC Mission: To assess and promote the strengths of the Mental Health System while advising and advocating for system improvements to ensure peer supported, community-based, culturally competent, person-centered, family-driven, and evidence-based service alternatives are available to all Iowans.
Information about Council meetings and public access:
- Meetings of the Council are public meetings and are conducted in accordance with Iowa’s open meetings law and rules.
- Robert’s Rules of Order govern the conduct of the meeting.
- The Council has six regular meetings a year, generally scheduled on the third Wednesday of January, March, May, July, September, and November.
- Members of the Council meet twice annually with members of the Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services Commission, generally in May and October.
Meeting notices and other information are distributed by email prior to Council meetings and posted as required by law. For current information about Council meetings and activities, to be added to the electronic distribution list to receive meeting notices, or for information on how to apply for MHPC membership, contact: