UIHC lands grant to expand mental health care program in schools

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is getting a grant of $2.25 million dollars to help address child mental health issues. The grant will allow the Iowa Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program to expand its services into schools.

UI pediatric cardiologist Dr. Tom Scholz says they’re working with the U-I’s College of Education to reach kids for mental health support. “It allows them to perform better in school, interact better with their family and neighbors, and just allow them to have more success in the short term,” Scholz says, “which will certainly translate to more success in the long term.”

The three-year grant is through federal and state Health and Human Services agencies. Scholz says the money allows the program to broaden and reach more school districts in Iowa, especially in rural areas. He says, “What this grant allows us is to connect into those communities, into those school systems, where the mental health services are quite limited.”

Scholz says the program has been running for five years and, so far, has focused on workforce development and providing mental telehealth services to kids across the state.