Legislation

Mental health reform has a chance of success

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Rep. Four Price stands as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate in Jan.The House puts aside a budget of $152 million to fund the mental health reform, around $95 million for a committee’s recommendations. Rep. Four Price introduced around 20 bills dealing with mental health issues.

Major mental health reform will be a reality in Texas if House leaders have any say about it.

Last session, House Speaker Joe Straus named a mental health select committee to study and recommend ideas to reform the antiquated state mental healthcare system.

Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo, chaired the select committee, which heard almost 50 hours of testimony about issues Texans face when receiving mental health care.

The committee published an extensive report suggesting fixes and cautioning the state not to wait, “because the societal, medical and criminal justice costs [of inaction] alone will be extremely high.”

The House wants to set aside a budget of $152 million to fund mental health reform and the committee’s recommendations.

Price introduced around 20 bills dealing with mental health issues.

The bills touch most of the main areas needing improvement.

Insurance access/coverage, criminal justice system, early intervention/education and collaborative mental healthcare are set to be addressed this session.

House Bill 10, which addresses mental health parity, already had a public hearing. Seven other bills have been referred to committee.

We asked for an aggressive reform on mental health, and with these proposals we could get it.

 

Source: Mental health reform has a chance of success

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