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Legislative Issues

 Mental Health

#Texas ranks near the bottom on #mentalhealth funding at $40.65 – well below the national avg. of $119.62 - ow.ly/Jdsxe  #txlege
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Counties face crushing costs to provide certain constitutional minimum levels of care, including mental health services. The state should adequately fund community mental health, crisis and transitional services that divert the mentally ill from courts, emergency rooms and jails, and ease the financial burden on local government and taxpayers.
 
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 TALKING POINTS

 
     
  • Mental health and the criminal justice system are closely interrelated, with substance abuse adding even more complexity to the system.

  • The criminal justice system is among the largest cost drivers in the county budget.

  • Counties are mandated to provide certain constitutional minimum levels of care, including mental health care, while a person is incarcerated in a county jail.

  • Counties have the option of providing funds directly to local mental health centers and other assistive community programs when budgets allow.

  • According to the Texas Council of Community Centers, counties have increased support to local mental health agencies in recent years.

  • Local taxing authorities contributed a combined total of about $476 million to mental health community centers. Of this amount, approximately $371 million (78 percent) came from county government.

  • Funding for local mental health crisis services and mental health rehabilitation must be fully appropriated and the gaps in service identified and addressed to relieve the burden on the criminal justice system.

  • Community diversions and other programs are where the most timely, cost-effective, beneficial, preventative and successful mental health services are delivered—and the state must fund them.
 

 For More Information

 
 

 VOICES OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT

 
 


Sheriff Dennis Wilson of Limestone County on the Importance of Mental Health Services for Communities Across Texas

 

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