Policy UpdatesTexas Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Border Security

Texas Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Border Security

SUMMARY – During the 85th Legislative Interim, Kyle Mitchell, JD, MMHPI Senior Director of Veteran and Military Policy, was invited testimony at the Texas Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs & Border Security. Mr. Mitchell presented on “Improving How Texas Meets the Mental Health Needs of Veterans and Their Families.”

During his testimony, Mr. Mitchell provided an overview of how the Texas Legislature has addressed veteran mental health needs including

  • 81(R) SB 1325 (Nelson) established the Mental Health Program for Veterans to provide peer-to-peer counseling for veterans.
  • Supported expansions of the Mental Health Program for Veterans – most recently through 85(R) SB 27 (Campbell), which focused on the “peer service” nature of these services.
  • 84(R) SB 55 (Nelson) directed HHSC to establish a grant program to support community mental health programs that provide and coordinate mental health services and treatment for Texas veterans and their families.
  • 85(R) HB 13 (Price) created the Community Mental Health Grant Program to provide incentives for state-local collaborations to help Texas communities tailor solutions to fit the mental health challenges they face.

Mr. Mitchell concluded his remarks focusing on Texas Veterans Commission grants

  • Veteran Mental Health grants focus on the mental health needs of veterans and their families through projects that emphasize direct services to veterans and their families.
  • Veteran Treatment Court grants assist Texas veterans in obtaining services through Veterans Treatment Court programs.