New report puts Iowa last for mental health facilities

One year after the closing of two state hospitals, in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant, a new report shows that Iowa now trails the rest of the country in mental health facilities.

Iowa State Hospital for Insane -- photo by F. J. Bandholtz, 1908
Iowa State Hospital for Insane — photo by F. J. Bandholtz, 1908

A June 2016 report from the Treatment Advocacy Center, “Trends and Consequences of Eliminating State Psychiatric Beds,” ranks Iowa consistently last or in the bottom five of all U.S. states (including the District of Columbia) for mental health programs and services.

The report shows that in state hospital beds per capita, Iowa is ranked 51st in providing institutional care for those suffering from mental illness. Iowa has two beds per 100,000 people; the U.S. as a whole has almost 12 beds per 100,000 people, down from about 14 beds per 100,000 people in 2010.

Over the past 60 years, the number of hospital beds across the U.S. has shrunk from an all-time high of 560,000 in 1955 to 43,000 in 2010. The report attributes this drop to a broad range of issues, citing economic, medical, social and political factors.

Last year, state hospitals at Clarinda and Mount Pleasant were closed by Gov. Terry Branstad, even after lawmakers passed a compromise to reopen Mount Pleasant and extend funding for Clarinda.

Branstad defended the closures by contending the two hospitals were outdated and could be replaced by private agencies or the two remaining state hospitals in Independence and Cherokee.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »



Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.


Randy's Flooring is a local, employee-owned retailed that has been part of the Corridor for over 40 years, delivering quality and value through the largest selection of carpet, tile, hardwood, window treatments, and specialty products supported by the knowledgeable staff and in-house flooring designers who can help transform residential and commercial spaces.

Get Started