Policy UpdatesTexas Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security Interim Report to the 86th Legislature

Texas Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security Interim Report to the 86th Legislature

SUMMARY – In the wake of the Santa Fe school shooting, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick appointed a bi-partisan Select Committee, headed by Senate Education Committee Chairman Larry Taylor, to review comprehensive strategies to address school violence. In Summer 2018, the Select Committee met to hear invited and public testimony.

15x

increased likelihood of committing homicide when a psychotic disorder is untreated*

14

age at which half of all mental health conditions manifest*

75%

percentage of children with mental health issues who receive care in a primary care setting*

$2/yr/child

cost, once fully operating, to run a statewide system of regional children's behavioral health consultation and referral hubs*

*as of date of testimony

MMHPI President and CEO Dr. Andy Keller provided testimony during the hearing on Interim Charge 3, which included examining the root cause of mass murder in schools including, but not limited to, risk factors such as mental health and substance use disorders. The final report was released in August 2018.

The Link Between Violence and Mental Illness

  • Mild to moderate mental illness is not a risk factor for violence; other factors drive violence (substance use, criminogenic risk).
  • Severe mental illness drives slightly more risk (3 in 100 versus between 1 and 2 in 100).
  • Specific subsets are at higher risk
    • 20,000 children and youth with the most severe needs and the fewest economic and family resources
    • 900 youth with new psychotic disorders each year are at the highest risk