Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

Texas Senate Hearing Focuses on Mental Health Services-NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

The second day of the Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans hearing focused on mental health.

After the Uvalde school shooting, the committee wanted to address ways to try and prevent it from happening again.

“Mental health is everyone’s business,” said Sonja Gaines of the Texas Health and Human Service Commission. “We all have a role.”

That’s why many mental health agencies from across the state engage members on the issues they face.

The main theme is often repeated about the need for more mental health care workers.

“The state continues to face a shortage of mental health professionals,” Drs. Stephanie Chapman, director of primary care psychology. “If I could add the shortcomings of Spanish -speaking mental health professionals as well as mental health professionals who show the communities they serve.”

Possible solutions are presented such as offering schools mental health curricula and even mental health screenings at the school level.

“As schools complete vision screenings and verify immunization status for all students they can use the short validated tools to find out how students are feeling and also dealing with questioning about bad childhood experiences that increase the risk of mental health concerns, ”Chapman said.

All agencies try to address mental health as much as they can. Speakers at Wednesday’s hearing talked about how parents need to be involved and ready to get their children the help they need.

“The work we do is not to replace the family,” Drs. David Lakey, the managing officer of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium. “It can’t replace the role of parents.”

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