Policy UpdatesTexas House Committee on Public Health – HB 13

Texas House Committee on Public Health – HB 13

On March 21, 2017, MMHPI President and CEO Andy Keller, PhD, was invited testimony at the Texas House Committee on Public Health. House Bill 13, relating to the creation of a matching grant program to support community mental health programs for individuals experiencing mental illness and the coordination of certain behavioral health grants, was filed by Representative Four Price. 

32,000

Texas children with severe mental health needs at high risk of entering the juvenile justice system

4,000

annual estimate of Texas adolescents and young adults who experience first episode psychosis

Dr. Keller’s presentation to the committee began with highlights of previous successful collaborative programs passed by the Texas Legislature

  • 83 (R) SB 58 Healthy Communities Homeless Collaboratives
  • 83 (R) SB 1185 Harris County Jail Diversion Pilot
  • 84 (R) SB 55 Texas Veterans + Family Alliance

Dr. Keller then provided example opportunities for mental health needs across the state that HB 13 could address including issues such as early treatment for psychosis, children and youth with mental health needs who would otherwise enter the juvenile justice system, and adult jail diversion programs.

He finished by providing a breakdown of the needs across major counties in Texas.