Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mental Health Services in the Lone Star State

More "good news" on the status of public health in Texas:

· Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in the U.S.

· One in five Texans (20%)faces some form of mental illness.

· Texas ranks 49th in per capita spending on treatment of mental illness.

· Inadequate community-based mental health programs increase the likelihood that persons with mental illness will wind up in the criminal justice system.

· Approximately 900,000 adults in Texas met the DSHS mental health priority population definition in 2005, yet less than half in greatest need received mental health services.

· Forty-six percent of ER visits have behavioral health issues as a basic or contributing factor.

· Untreated mental illness results in increasing pressure on state and local resources.

· Community-based services reduce the rate of costly care in emergency rooms, hospitals, jails and prisons, and reduce the need for transportation to state hospitals for stabilization.

· Every $1 spent on mental health services saves $5 in overall health care costs.

· In Fiscal Year 2005, Texas average monthly emergency room costs were 27% lower for Medicaid clients receiving needed community mental health treatment than for those who received no such treatment.

· In Fiscal Year 2005, Texas average monthly emergency room costs were almost 35% lower for Medicaid clients receiving needed substance abuse treatment than for those who did not.

· Untreated mental illness costs Texas $16.6 billion per year.

· Treatment for mental illness is highly successful. (Depression: 80%, Panic Disorder: 75%, Schizophrenia: 60%, Heart Disease: 45-50%).

[Mental Health Association of Greater Dallas]

If you live in Texas, you might want to pass this information along to your State Senator and your House Member.


jocelyn said...

I have a question for you that's not exactly related to this post but has been nagging my heart for awhile now. You write a lot about the need for communities to be economically and racially integrated as a step in community development. If middle class people keep moving out of urban areas, it leaves a gap, right?

So here's my dilemma: My husband and I moved to Dallas last summer from overseas and just picked an apartment (off the internet) in North Dallas that was close to the public transportation that takes him to school. We have one car that I drive to work and we plan to keep it that way (the one car, that is).
The affluence and segregation of our area of Dallas has never totally felt like home to us. In fact, it makes us very uncomfortable. We’d be really interested in moving to a different area of Dallas that is more racially and economically diverse, but we don’t know where to begin looking. We don’t think it’s responsible to just “move” somewhere—we want be thoughtful and intentional if we make a decision like that. And we need to be able to get around with just one, semi-decent car. (I work near downtown, he attends SMU.) We would love to be part of a community that is open, that is diverse, that is growing. We would love to be surrounded by neighbors who are different than us. We are young and don’t have kids, so we don’t need a ton of space, and we might be interested in buying if the price was right (read “pretty low because I work in non-profit”). We speak a lot in generalities about social justice, equitable society, etc. but we don’t know how to make concrete moves in those directions. Any advice?

If I need to take my question “off the air,” as it were, I’d be happy to email you my questions. I just thought the blogosphere might benefit from your immense insight if you have time to answer.

Thanks so much for all you do.

Larry James said...

Jocelyn, thanks for this. I would love to talk to you. Call me at 214-823-8710 ext 116.

I may have something for you to consider!

jocelyn said...

I just left you a message, Larry. I look forward to talking to you more!


HAM*I*AM said...

Unfortunately, Larry, since deinstitutionalization, many of these statistics hold across the nation.

Colorado's community mental health is not so great either, and a few year's back, with the passage of the TABOR (Tax-payer's Bill of Rights) amendment, combined with an exconomic recession, we had to cut already slim budgets in critical mental health programs.

I could talk for hours on this very subject....