Most public health measures languished in the 85th Texas Legislature, but those for mental health care stood out as a giant exception. Lawmakers passed more than a dozen bills aimed at improving mental health care. And at a time when most state budgets were slashed, funding for mental health care rose ― by a lot.
Texas has made great strides in increasing access to community-based behavioral health care services. But physicians must have the authority to responsibly protect patients in our emergency departments who may be a danger to themselves or others.
“There is no greater challenge to the health and well-being of Texans than mental illness and substance abuse,” writes David Lakey, MD, immediate past-commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Texas Medicine’s issue on mental health aims to educate physicians of all specialties on how to manage and treat mental health.
TMF Health Quality Institute’s Innovation Team has scoured medical literature for best practices, interviewed medical practices attempting to implement behavioral health into their workflow and taken the learnings from projects such as the Comprehensive Primary Care initiative to find the best information about how to be successful in integrating behavioral health into primary care.
Texas has expanded community-based support for those with a mental illness who have been charged with nonviolent crimes. These programs are cost effective as they offer the support needed by individuals that are caught in the revolving door of untreated mental illness and incarceration.
Got Behavioral Health questions? Call the Knowledge Center.