AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More Texas children with severe mental health needs receive mental health care in a juvenile detention facility, a school special education program, foster care, or when a parent relinquishes custody to the Texas child welfare system than in a public mental health clinic. Texas veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq still wait too long for needed mental health care. When asked, most report reluctance to seek care for fear of being seen as weak and because they have lost faith in the promises their country made to stand behind them. And, on any given day, more Texas adults with mental health needs sit in Texas county jails than in psychiatric hospitals. These are among the many vivid examples Texans face daily that led to the formation of The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute for Texas, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that will identify and encourage the implementation of improved mental health policies and practices to enable Texans to get help when and where they need it. The organization launched today with a “Texas State of Mind” conference in Austin. The conference brought together people from the front lines of care – physicians, judges, sheriffs, and veteran advocates - with senior Texas officials to examine the state of mental health policies and practices in the Lone Star State. Texas Chief Justice Nathan Hecht; Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus; State Senator Jane Nelson; and Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Dr. Kyle Janek were among the top leaders participating in the conference.
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