Policy UpdatesTexas Joint Legislative Committee on Aging

Texas Joint Legislative Committee on Aging

SUMMARY – In August 2018, the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging met to hear invited and public testimony where Senior Director of Veteran and Military Policy Kyle Mitchell presented on “Improving How Texas Meets the Mental Health Needs of Veterans and Their Families.”

50,000

major depression estimates in Texas Veterans 55 and older*

60,000

alcohol dependence or abuse in Texas Veterans 55 and older*

*Prevalence data (2016)

Mr. Mitchell’s presentation also included a summary of needs met through  81(R) SB 1325 (Nelson) which established the Mental Health Program for Veterans to provide peer-to-peer counseling for veterans.

  • The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) coordinate to administer the program.
  • The program provides peer counseling services to service members, veterans, and their families through contracts with local mental health authorities (LMHAs), local behavioral health authorities (LBHAs) and the Texas A&M University Health Science Center (TAMUHSC).

Mr. Mitchell’s testimony provided an overview of the U.S. veteran population, broken down by age and sex along with prevalence data on specifics such as mental illness, substance use and suicide.