Each year, May is designated as National Mental Health Awareness Month. This awareness month began as a way to educate communities about mental health conditions and provide support and resources to those individuals living with mental illness. Millions across the country are affected by mental illness each year. According to the Texas Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council, over 3 million adults in Texas are living with a mental illness. Furthermore, 61% of adults in Texas who needed mental health treatment did not receive any. Unfortunately, children are affected by mental illness as well. According to the Texas Health & Human Services Commission, one out of four children will have a mental illness during childhood. This is why breaking down the stigma attached to mental illness through education and outreach is key goal of National Mental Health Awareness Month.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling, behavior or mood. Mental health conditions are far more common and come in many different forms. As a result, it is important to look for common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents. To learn more about the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and find more information about mental health conditions, please visit SAMHAS. For more resources visit the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. For more mental health resources in Texas you can also visit the Mental Health Texas. In Texas, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) contracts with Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs) across the state to provide mental health services to communities. In our area, the Behavioral Health Center of Nueces County helps to deliver mental health services to over 10,000 residents annually as part of this program. You can learn more by visiting the Nueces Center for Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities.
We are in the final month of the 87th Legislative Session. Sine Die, the final day, of this Session is May 31st. Until then, the Legislature will continue to hold hearings over bills in committees and decide matters in the House and Senate Chambers. To look up and/or track legislation that interests you, please visit Texas Legislature Online. You are able to look up legislation by word, phrase, or bill number in the top-middle section of this page. The left of the page has several links that will connect you to the Texas House of Representatives and to the Texas Senate.
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents Nueces (Part) County. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 512-463-0672.