2005 Legislative Compendium: Mental Health

Mental Health Services for Women with Postpartum Depression

SB 826 by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) and Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) establishes a cost benefit study relating to mental health services for women diagnosed with postpartum depression. HHSC will conduct a study examining the feasibility and effects of providing 12 months of health services under the Medicaid program to women who are: diagnosed with postpartum depression; and eligible for medical assistance, at the time of diagnosis.

Discharge of a Minor from a Mental Health Facility

HB 224 by Rep. Frank Corte (R-San Antonio) and Sen. Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) requires facilities to consult with a parent, guardian, or managing conservator when a patient less than 18 years of age requests that he be discharged from a mental health facility. The bill requires that the facility continue treatment in a case wherein the patient requests that he be released, yet the parent/ guardian objects in writing. The bill also provides protections for the administration of psychoactive medications, except when the patient is younger than 18 years of age, and the parent/ guardian consents to the administration of the medication.

Mental Health Court

HB 2518 by Representative Coleman and Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock) allows a county commissioners' court to establish a mental health court program. Individuals eligible are those who have been suspected of having a mental illness or who are mentally retarded and  have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony. The bill requires that a person deemed eligible for the program be counseled before volunteering to proceed through the mental health court program or the regular criminal justice system.

SB 307 also by Representative Coleman and Senator Duncan establishes a mental health court for persons who have been arrested for a felony as well as misdemeanors, and are suspected of having a mental illness or mental retardation.

Patient Refusal of Psychoactive Medication

SB 465 by Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) and Rep. Elliott Naishtat (D-Austin) allows a physician, on behalf of the state and for those individuals who are currently custodians of the state, to file an application in a probate court, or a court with probate jurisdiction, to authorize the administration of a psychoactive medication, even in situations wherein the patient refuses. The bill also allows the court to authorize administration of psychoactive medications to individuals who are under a court order to receive inpatient mental health services, or who are in custody awaiting trail in a criminal proceeding and who were ordered to received mental health services in the six months preceding the hearing. The bill also clarifies the expiration dates for the court orders.

Support for Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant

HCR 193 by Rep. John Davis (R-Houston) asked the 79th Legislature to express its support for the governor's application to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the "Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant." Context for the resolution was described in light of the 3.1 million adults and 1.2 million children in Texas who suffered from some form of diagnosable mental health disorder in 2002; the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation only was able to serve an estimated 26 percent of eligible children and 38 percent of eligible adults that year.

Mental Health Near Miss

Local Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority
VETOED - HB 2572 by Rep. Vicki Truitt (R-Keller) and Sen. Kyle Janek (R-Houston) would have required the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to designate a local mental health and mental retardation authority in one or more local service areas. The bill would have given the executive commissioner the option to delegate to local authorities his authority and responsibility with regard to planning, policy development (to exclude rate setting), coordination, resource allocation, and resource development for oversight of mental health and mental retardation services. The bill outlined the plan and design for a network of service providers, and required that HHSC adopt rules specifying local mental retardation authorities' roles and responsibilities. One of several requirements was for local mental health authorities to provide a state school option among available residential services.

Mental Health TMA Staff Contacts:

  • Hilary Dennis, Legislative Affairs, (512) 370-1370
  • Barbara James, RN, Science and Quality, (512) 370-1400
  • Susan Griffin, Public Health, (512) 370-1462
  • Helen Kent Davis, Governmental Affairs, (512) 370-1401 

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