Health provider adding mental health services

MARION, Iowa (KCRG) -- A healthcare provider in Marion has expanded some of its services to help treat people with mental health issues,

Covenant Family Services has added three psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. Right now, in Iowa, as many as 120 thousand people need psychiatric medications to manage their mental health. Covenant says these nurse practitioners will be able to prescribe and manage psychiatric medications for people from children to the elderly.

"There's definitely a shortage of providers within Iowa and pretty much everywhere. What's happening is the providers that we do have -- their time to see patients is booked out, so by added a couple more providers, we're able to see patients in a timely manner," Kelsey Lamb, Covenant Family Solutions psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, said.

Right now in Iowa, only about 300 dedicated providers are able to give out medications. The nurse practitioners at Covenant Family Solutions will work with patients' therapists and primary care providers.