Mental illness and specialty care does not have color, face, or name, but adequate support to address a variety of issues like toxic stressors that lead to depression can curve impacts through policy intervention.
On Tuesday, May 2nd, The Houston Area Urban League, NAMI and partnering organizations in Houston gathered for a rally at the Texas State Capitol to support the Texas Mental Health Day at the Capitol. Since Texas ranks 35th in the country to properly address mental health matters, organizing, and educating to raise awareness was pivotal to highlight how standardized legislation can address mental health matters amongst children, youth and adults after COVID. That is why awareness, education, support programs and advocacy alternatives were directly laid out before policy makers to learn about their strategy.
There were 10 Senate Bills and 18 House Bills calling forth the transfer of funding from the expansion of security beds to deferred detention with a concentration on expansion of competency services to promote reliable treatment. Senate Bills like 98 for example, would incentivize schools to promote support for children to triage stress management or bills through grant programs that would offer HISD dedicated funding to improve on unidentified related conditions.
According to The National Alliance on Mental Illness:
Lack of adequate mental health care has severe personal and societal consequences lead to
.•37% of students with a mental health condition age 14 and older drop out of school.5
- The unemployment rate for individuals receiving services through the public mental health system in Texas was 85.6% in 2012.6
- Nearly 22% of individuals in Texas who are homeless have a severe mental illness (over 5,100), and half of those individuals are unsheltered.7
- Over half of all adults who are incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails have at least one mental health condition.8
- 1 out of every 8 Texas students reported having attempted suicide in the past year, which is almost twice the national average.9
- People with serious mental illness die up to 20 years younger because of preventable physical disorders.
Most of these bills to address mental health issues did not pass, but visiting with Senators and State House Representatives was a mandatory mission to bring attention to pressing issues confronting our community, particularly mental health challenges experienced by family members friends and professional that have tremendous impacts on underserved communities and millions of community members at large.