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    Texas 211

DSHS Awards $25 Million for Community Mental Health Services

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News Release
May 12, 2008

The Texas Department of State Health Services today announced it is awarding $25 million in new funding to 17 local mental health centers for community-based crisis mental health services.

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.

“We appreciate the Legislature’s commitment to developing a more effective response system for Texans dealing with mental health crises,” said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS commissioner. “The additional money will help people get the best possible care in the best possible setting.”

A total of $21.4 million is being awarded to 14 local mental health centers for two-year projects that will 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 be treated efficiently in more appropriate settings. Recipients are:

  • Austin Travis County Mental Health Mental Retardation Center (two projects) – $4,618,509
  • Betty Hardwick Center – $1,510,940
  • Bluebonnet Trails Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center – $601,274
  • Burke Center (two projects) – $1,666,429
  • Central Plains Center – $88,718
  • El Paso Mental Health and Mental Retardation – $1,779,322
  • Heart of Texas Region Mental Health Mental Retardation Center – $1,715,528
  • Hill Country Community MHMR Center – $463,831
  • Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center of Nueces County – $564,957
  • Mental Health Mental Retardation of Tarrant County three projects) – $3,565,474
  • Spindletop MHMR Services – $638,400
  • Tri-County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services – $2,357,998
  • Tropical Texas Behavioral Health – $1,382,000
  • West Texas Centers for MHMR – $432,869

A total of $3.5 million was recently awarded to five mental health entities for two-year projects to provide outpatient treatment to people who have been found incompetent to stand trial. Recipients are:

  • Austin Travis County Mental Health Mental Retardation Center – $845,618
  • The Center for Health Care Services – $983,798
  • North Texas Behavioral Health Authority / ValueOptions – $878,275
  • Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County – $292,309
  • Mental Health Mental Retardation of Tarrant County – $556,628

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.

Of the $82 million appropriation, DSHS also provided $21 million last fall to 38 local mental health centers to help pay for the first year of crisis hotline improvements, mobile outreach units and other mental health crisis services. That money also is being 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. DSHS will provide $35 million next fiscal year for continuation of these local services.

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.

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(News Media: For more information contact Carrie Williams, Assistant Press Officer, 512-458-7400.)

Last updated November 22, 2010