December 14, 2007
The Texas Department of State Health Services has awarded $21 million to local mental health centers to improve community-based crisis services and is seeking proposals from those centers for another $24 million to be awarded early next year.
The money comes from an $82 million two-year appropriation from the Texas Legislature to improve how public mental health crisis services are provided statewide.
The funding is part of an overall effort to increase access to crisis response services, reduce the need for hospitalizations and provide alternatives to incarceration for those in mental health crises. Crises may include situations in which people are, or believe they are, suicidal, a danger to others or having significant deterioration due to a mental condition.
The $21 million was recently provided to 38 mental health centers to help pay for mobile outreach units, crisis hotline improvements and other crisis services in fiscal year 2008. The money also can be used to develop additional crisis services such as walk-in services, children’s outpatient services or residential services, or to pay for specially trained mental health law enforcement officers. A list of individual center awards is online at www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/releases/crisisfunding.shtm.
The $24 million will be awarded in two areas:
- Some $21.4 million will be awarded to establish or enhance psychiatric emergency service centers or for other facilities that provide alternatives to sending mentally ill patients to hospitals or jails if they can otherwise be treated efficiently in more appropriate settings. DSHS expects to award at least six two-year projects. The deadline for proposals is Feb. 29.
- A total of $3 million will be awarded for up to four programs to provide outpatient mental health treatment to people who have been found incompetent to stand trial. The funds are for two-year programs. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 31.
Approximately $500,000 of the $82 million will be spent on statewide hotline training and certification, and another $800,000 will be used for evaluation and agency support. DSHS will provide the remaining $35 million next fiscal year for continuation of local crisis services.
(News Media: For more information contact Carrie Williams, Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7400.)