Policy UpdatesTexas House Committee on Public Health – SB 10

Texas House Committee on Public Health – SB 10

On May 1, 2019, MMHPI President and CEO Andy Keller, PhD, was invited testimony on SB 10 at the Texas House Committee on Public Health.  Senate Bill 10, relating to the creation of the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium, was filed by Senator Jane Nelson with all 31 members of the Senate signed on as co-sponsors.  

75%

of children with mental health issues who receive care today are treated in primary care setting*

Nearly 30

states that had implemented programs similar to the Child Psychiatry Access Network proposed by SB 10*

14

the age by which half of all mental health conditions manifest*

*as of date of testimony

In his testimony, Dr. Keller laid out an overview of SB 10. The Texas Mental Health Care Consortium would focus on the behavioral health needs of children and youth with the goal of coordinating the expansion and delivery of mental health care services by leveraging the infrastructure and expertise of state-funded medical schools.

Dr. Keller noted that SB 10 allows liaisons to work with parents, caregivers, and students to offer telemedicine and telehealth programs to:

  • identify and assess behavioral health needs, and
  • provide access to mental health care in real-time.

Dr. Keller’s testimony also provided background on what was referred to as the Texas Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN). In response to Hurricane Harvey, local philanthropy funded CPAN prototypes in Harris County and the surrounding region that were developed by Baylor College of Medicine, UTHealth Houston, Texas Children’s Hospital, and Harris Health. He also noted that Children’s Health in Dallas has a long-standing program.

SB 10 also establishes a network of mental health professionals to consult with pediatricians and primary care providers to help them better care for Texas children with mental health needs.