MASON CITY — Changes in mental health funding at the state level will have little impact on Hope Haven Mason City, a mental health rehabilitation service, agency spokespeople said.
A new state law shifts control over Medicaid-funded mental health services from counties to the state. The change is part of larger reforms of Iowa’s mental health care system designed to make services more uniform.
“Most (more than 90 percent) of our funding is through Medicaid,” said Doug Smit, Hope Haven director of mental health services. “Our county funding is pretty minimal. The impact will be on clients that aren’t Medicaid-eligible.”
Opened in May 2000, Hope Haven Mason City is a satellite of Hope Haven Inc., of Rock Valley.
Located at 202 First St. S.E., it is a five-phase program of intensive psychiatric rehabilitation.
Hope Haven is the only service of its kind in the area, said Mary Lynch, Hope Haven manager for the Key to Success program.
The agency stresses rehabilitation, not therapy. Through Key to Success, clients work on basic living skills, work skills or educational skills, according to their need.
Katie Artjes, area supervisor for the Key to Success program, said the hope is that clients will achieve the goal they set for themselves.
“If they make improvements in one area, they typically make improvements in another area,” she said.
The emphasis is on recovery.
“It is a very person-centered program,” Lynch said. “They’re becoming more accountable. It really hones in on the skills and resources a person needs. It involves a lot of work.”
Clients are adults age 18 to 65 who have elected to work on recovery from severe and persistent mental illness, said Angeline Mayer, intensive psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner in Mason City.
Most clients are from Cerro Gordo County.
Hope Haven Mason City typically serves from eight to 16 clients at any one time, Mayer said. Clients typically remain in the program from six months to 2½ years.
“Everybody goes through the program differently,” Mayer said.
Clients may be referred by other agencies, counselors, case managers or by themselves. They enter the program voluntarily.
Research indicates mental illness can shorten an individual’s lifespan by 20 years, Lynch said.
Mental illness can also be the root cause of physical illness, said Smit.
“People are starting to deal with it as a disease that can be treated,” he said.
Hope Haven was founded in 1964 in Rock Valley. It has offices throughout the state.