County awards contract for Mental Health Needs Assessment
This article was originally published by the Hays Free Press on March 30, 2022.
HAYS COUNTY — Hays County is making progress in addressing the area’s mental health needs.
On March 22, the Hays County Commissioners Court unanimously approved awarding a contract to the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute for the Hays County Mental Health Needs Assessment. This study will determine the extent of mental health services that are needed in the county.
The Crescendo Consulting Group and Osornio Torres Industries, LLC, also submitted proposals for this contract but ultimately, the county felt that Meadows was the better qualified.
“I think the overall view on how to conduct the assessment and the previous work the Meadows Center has done in both our area and throughout the state, and really throughout the nation, were pretty substantial,” said commissioner Walt Smith. “I’m very impressed by the team that they put together on this and I can’t wait for it to get started.”
After discovering that a mental health facility or multiple facilities is essential, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra assembled a Mental Health Task Force over a year ago. The Needs Assessment was later approved for funding, which would not exceed $250,000, in November 2021.
The county will collaborate and welcome input from surrounding mental health centers: Austin Oaks Hospital, Texas State University, Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and Bluebonnet Trails Community Services.
“Our ultimate goal is to create a holistic Center for Mental Wellness, Education and Research for the residents of Hays County and today, we’ve taken the next step,” Becerra said in a news release.
County staff and general counsel will negotiate the contract to bring it back to the commissioners court for final approval.
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