Division of Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS)

Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council

The Iowa Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council (MHPC) is the state planning and advisory body required as a condition for the receipt of federal Community Mental Health Block Grant funding. It is authorized by 42 U.S.C. Section 300x. States are required to submit yearly applications known as the Mental Health Block Grant Plan to receive federal block grant funds. The objective of block grant planning is to support the State creation and expansion of comprehensive, community-based systems of care for adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbance.

The Council consists of thirty-three voting members nominated and elected by majority vote of the Council membership. The members include individuals 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 and meets six times a year. Members elect a Chairperson, Vice-Chair, and Secretary annually. Council members are elected to three-year staggered terms and may be reelected without term limit. The representation on the Council is governed by federal requirements and its own bylaws, and is composed of Iowa residents as follows:

  • 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 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.

  • In addition to the thirty-three voting members, four members of the Iowa General Assembly are appointed to serve in an ex officio, non-voting capacity. One legislative member is designated by each of the following: the majority leader of the Senate, the minority leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

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:

  1. To review the Mental Health Block Grant Plan and to submit recommendations.

  2. To serve as an advocate for adults with a serious mental illness, children with a serious emotional disturbance, and other individuals with mental illnesses.

  3. To monitor, review, and evaluate, not less than once each year, the allocation and adequacy of mental health services within the State.

The Council's bylaws create three standing committees, 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 and ensuring that community-based, culturally competent, and consumer/family driven 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.

  • Regular meetings of the Council are scheduled for 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.

Meeting notices and other information are distributed by email about one week 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:

Connie B. Fanselow
Division of Mental Health & Disability Services
Iowa Department of Human Services
Hoover State Office Building, 5th Floor
1305 E. Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: 515-725-0131
Fax: 515-242-6036
Email: cfansel@dhs.state.ia.us

Meeting Agendas, Minutes, and Materials

2013 Meeting Schedule

January 16, 2013

Agenda Minutes
March 20, 2013 Agenda -
May 15, 2013 Agenda -

Images of people and children