[ Psychotropic Drugs | Mental Health and Minors ]


House Bill 1406 by Rep. Betty Brown (R-Terrell) prohibits certain school district employees from recommending that a student use a psychotropic drug or have a psychiatric evaluation or examination.  This bill further prevents schools from prohibiting a child from attending a class or participating in a school-related activity in the event the parent refuses to consent to the administration of a psychotropic drug to a student or to a psychiatric evaluation or examination. This bill does not prohibit a school district employee who is a registered nurse, advanced nurse practitioner, physician, or mental health professional from recommending that a child be evaluated by an appropriate medical professional. Further, this bill does not prohibit a school employee from discussing particular aspects of a student's behavior or academic progress with the parent or another school district employee. An act of violation of this statute does not override any other personal liability provided by law.


HB 21 by Rep. Frank Corte (R-San Antonio) raises the age for voluntary admission for mental health services from 16 to 18. New language requires mental health facilities to consult with a parent or guardian prior to releasing a patient under 18 and continue treatment if the parent or guardian objects to the release. This bill also provides a patient's right to be evaluated by a physician at regular intervals to determine the person's need for continued inpatient treatment. This bill is in line with established TMA Policy 215.015 Psychiatric Inpatient Admissions (although no ages are written into TMA policy).

MHMR Management Teams

Senate Bill 464 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) authorizes the appointment of a management team to manage and operate a community center for mental health or mental retardation services in the event the current management of the center is deemed to be operating the center in an intentional, reckless, and negligent manner.

Diversion of Persons With Mental Health Disorders and Mental Retardation From Incarceration to Appropriate Services

SB 1145 by Sen. Frank Madla (D-San Antonio) allows local mental health authorities to prioritize funding for programs to divert persons with mental health disorders and mental retardation from incarceration to appropriate services. The bill also calls for specialized training of local law enforcement and court personnel to identify and manage offenders or suspects who may be members of the priority population.

Mental Health Courts

HB 2609 by Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) establishes mental health court programs to integrate mental illness treatment services and mental retardation services in the processing of cases in the judicial system. Additionally, these mental health courts must use a nonadversarial approach involving prosecutors and defense attorneys to protect the due process rights of program participants, provide early identification and prompt placement of eligible participants, provide access to mental illness treatment services and mental retardation services, provide ongoing judicial interaction with program participants, and divert potentially mentally ill or mentally retarded defendants to needed services as an alternative to subjecting them to the criminal justice system.

Mental Health and Mental Retardation Quality Assurance Fund

HB 2292, the health and human services agency reorganization bill, establishes a quality assurance fund from fees assessed to each licensed community mental health and mental retardation facility. The quality assurance fund may be used to increase reimbursement rates paid under Medicaid to facilities or waivers programs for persons with mental retardation. Additionally, dollars may be appropriated from this fund for any health and human service purpose approved by the governor and Legislative Budget Board.

Compulsive Gambling

HB 2292 establishes a program to provide crisis counseling and referral services to families experiencing difficulty due to compulsive gambling.

Privatization of Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services

HB 2292 allows for privatization of mental health and mental retardation services.

Disease Management and Jail Diversion

HB 2292 provides for disease management and jail diversion for mental health service recipients.

Privatization of State Schools

HB 2292 allows for privatization of a state school if a private service provider can operate the school at 25 percent less cost than the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

Privatization of State Mental Hospitals

HB 2292 allows for privatization of state mental hospitals if a private service provider can operate the school at 25 percent less cost than the department.

Prohibition on Public Provision of Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services

HB 2292 prohibits state provision of mental health and mental retardation services if any other providers are available.

Healthy Marriage Development Program

HB 2292 authorizes the development of instructional course offerings to recipients of state financial assistance on the following topics: premarital counseling, marriage counseling, anger management, family violence prevention, honoring your spouse, communication, managing a budget, physical fitness, nutrition and cooking, abstinence for all unmarried persons including those who have been married previously, and parenting skills.

Health Plan Coverage for Developmental Delays

HB 2292 requires health plans to provide coverage for services for children with developmental delays according to the child's individual family service plans under Early Childhood Development, to include occupational, physical, and speech therapy and dietary or nutritional evaluations and services.

Mental health TMA staff contacts:

-Stephen Brown, associate director, Legislative Affairs Department, (512) 370-1367
-Susan Griffin, senior policy analyst, Public Health Department, (512) 370-1462
-Barbara James, RN, director, Science and Quality Department, (512) 370-1400

[ Overview | Professional Liability Reform | Patient Safety/Quality Improvement | Managed Care/Insurance Reform | Health Care Funding | Health and Human Services Reorganization | Scope of Practice | Public Health | Rural Health | Medical Science | Workers' Compensation | Tax Reform | Long-Term Care | Workforce/Medical Education | Abortion and Related Legislation | Health Facility Regulation | Transplantation/Organ Donation ]

Last Updated On

July 23, 2010

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