House Committee on Mental Health, Select - 84th R.S. (2015)

Committee Members


  • Review the behavioral health system, including substance abuse treatment, for adults and children. Make recommendations to improve the delivery and coordination of services to create an integrated system to improve early identification of mental illness, improve access and continuity of services, reduce barriers to treatment, and increase collaboration between entities responsible for the delivery of care in a manner that will ultimately reduce cost and improve care.
  • Identify educational, healthcare, law enforcement, criminal justice, judiciary, state, county, and city entities that are statutorily or contractually responsible for the identification or delivery of behavioral health services. Review how the services are directly or indirectly connected and how the entities work together.
  • Review entry points into the mental health system for both adults and children; how individuals gain access to services; what services are available; the effectiveness of services; and how to define, prioritize, measure, and improve outcomes achieved for adults and children.
  • Identify local and state cost of mental health in Texas and identify measures to reduce cost to the overall system by improving care.
  • Study and recommend solutions for the challenges within the current system, including, but not limited to, how to provide effective services in the short term and close gaps over the longer term in mental-health workforce shortage areas; access to appropriate mental health care for school-age children, including those identified through Mental Health First Aid training, to break the school to juvenile detention to prison pipeline; factors contributing to differences in communities’ access to law enforcement and Judges with specific mental health training; communities’ access to crises intervention and jail diversion services; communities’ ability to plan and coordinate between healthcare providers and systems, law enforcement, the judiciary, and the criminal justice systems to deliver and coordinate care; and the location and availability of inpatient treatment beds, including how the need for inpatient beds varies by the effectiveness of the entire system. Also, identify obstacles to adequate insurance coverage for mental health services.
  • Identify the challenges of providing care and increasing access to veterans, homeless Texans, and individuals with serious mental illness.
  • Examine challenges of providing services in underserved and rural areas of the state and in communities serving high numbers of Texans below 200% poverty level.


Appointed by Speaker 11/9/2015, pursuant to Rule 1, Section 16, House Rules (Proclamation, Speaker Joe Straus, 11/9/2015).

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