Democratic candidate for governor of Iowa stopped in Sioux City for Mental Health Tour

    Fred Hubbell (left) and Jim Rixner, former Executive Director for the Siouxland Mental Health Center<p>{/p}

    This afternoon, Democratic candidate for governor of Iowa, Fred Hubbell joined mental health professionals and community leaders to discuss the ongoing issues in mental health and how it relates to public safety.

    "Well we have to recognize that we already have a shortage of trained professional in the mental health field. Whether it's counselors, therapists or psychiatrists," said Hubbell.

    It's a problem that Democratic candidate for governor of Iowa Fred Hubbell said state, county and local officials need to help restore the quality of mental health care for citizens.

    "So we need to find some ways to recruit trained professionals and more psychiatrists to actually work all across the state and we need to take a very open view toward telepsychiatry as the sheriff from Story County was talking about and is using," said Hubbell.

    Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald said many county jails end up being like a mental health facility.

    "The person is charged with a crime and then taken to jail and until recently, law enforcement tried to treat those with mental illness like they would anyone else and that does not work. That only causes complications," said Fitzgerald.

    The roundtable took place at the Francis building in Sioux City and it's part of Hubbell's statewide mental health tour, to focus on solutions and support the mental health community.

    "It is very clear, where ever we go, mental health and access to healthcare, are huge issues for citizens. They're not happy with the services that they're getting, the providers are not happy with being paid very quickly. We have a crisis in our hands and we need to recognize that and start to deal with that rather than pretend it's not there," said Hubbell.

    Hubbell says there will be 11 more meetings like this one held across Iowa.

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