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Mental Health Services Funds
Mental health agencies are hoping the Senate and House can come to an agreement when it comes to increasing funding for mental health services.
The House and Senate are still in the discussion stages but due to recent tragedies that made headlines, mental health officials believe government leaders will respond in the form of dollars.
Both the Texas Senate and House are recommending a significant investment in mental health and substance abuse services.
"Its looking at things like better access to hospital care, crises response services addressing waiting list, t increasing compacity and looking at some early identification issues", said Roddy Atkins, Ex. Director of Helen Farabee Center.
Through the state legislature mental health agencies could see an increase in funds from 112-115 million dollars.
Mental health officials say they believe this need for an increase in funds stems from some of the recent tragedies.
"I think one of the catalyst this session has been what has happened in Newton CN, with the shootings and some of the other shootings that have occurred across the nation. I think that's helped further their commitment towards trying to do something about mental health services in the state", said Atkins.
Crowded jails with those suffering from mental illness because there's no place for them to go makes it more difficult for law enforcement.
"They recognize that without treatment folks tend to show up in more expensive venues of care imparticularly in the criminal justice system", said Atkins.
Members of non- profit agencies who work with mental illness says it's time mental illness is taken seriously.
"Their taking a cold hard look at the fact that they have to not only not cut our funding but provide the additional services that we desperately need in order to treat these people", said WF National Alliance on Mental Illness Coordiantor, Hannah Fryer.
Atkins says the bottom line is they have to decide before the legislative session ends which is in May.