SUMMARY – The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute partnered with the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services (TACFS) in 2019 – 2021 to support planning efforts in North Texas in preparation for the eventual transition from a state-administered foster care system to one led locally.
SUMMARY – This assessment and environmental scan is intended to serve as a resource for the Houston Community as it improves their foster care system and develops longer term plans for successfully transitioning to a community-based care model.
Mass murder is often associated in the public’s mind with mental illness. Recent attacks have resulted in calls to reform the process for assessing and treating people with mental illnesses, including changes to legal rights (e.g., access to firearms) as well as building more psychiatric hospitals and committing greater numbers of people with mental illnesses to them. Underlying many of these appeals is a concern for public safety and an urgent desire to prevent mass killings. There is also a belief that “a properly structured mental health system” could successfully identify and intercept people who commit mass murder before they are able to act.
In our first white paper, from September 2016, discussing the research on mental illness and mass murder, we explain that while there are common characteristics among many mass murderers, these characteristics are also present in people who do not commit murder. Enhancing timely and assertive community-based treatment for people with mental illnesses who are at risk for committing violent acts – either against others or themselves – holds promise for more broadly reducing the number of victims of violence in the United States each year.