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Texas Mental Health Research Framework

The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) prepared the Texas Mental Health Research Framework (Framework) upon the request of the chairs of academic departments of psychiatry in the state of Texas and behavioral health leaders in state government in an effort to promote synergistic collaborations in mental health research.

We organized the Framework by marshaling the perspectives of psychiatry leaders across all of Texas’s academic medical centers to define five focused areas of mental health research that have the greatest potential for improving the behavioral health of Texans. Three of the five focus areas have been identified as top priorities given the increasing mental health needs of Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey and the significant impact they have on the quality of life for many children, youth, and adults. We established these focus areas through extensive consultation with leading researchers and university stakeholders. The report appendix identifies existing, externally-funded research activities in each focus area that are underway at Texas university psychiatry departments.

The Framework builds upon existing research efforts and funding opportunities, with the goal of using these efforts to develop a shared statewide strategy that increases the volume, scope, and quality of mental health and substance use disorder research in Texas. To provide context for the Framework, we conducted a comparative survey of other research consortiums, which is summarized in this report. The Framework also identifies potential funders for each focus area, including public and private donors.

The Framework’s objectives are as follows:

  1. Establish Texas as a national leader in mental health and substance use disorder research.
  2. Produce results for Texans and their families.
  3. Address the behavioral health workforce crisis.
  4. Enhance the impact of the Health and Human Services Commission’s Texas Statewide Behavioral Health Strategic Plan.
  5. Use scarce taxpayer resources as leverage for investment.

Read or download the full white paper Texas Mental Health Research Framework.