AUSTIN, TX – The Senate Health & Human Services Committee today unanimously approved SB 10, authored by Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, which establishes the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium and leverages the expertise of our state's medical schools to bolster mental health resources for Texas children and adolescents. Governor Abbott declared this bill an emergency item in his State of the State address. All 31 senators are signed on as co-authors of SB 10.

"Texas has been making strong progress on mental health with innovative programs that expand access to care. This bill will help better identify children and adolescents with mental health challenges and connect them with the treatment they need before they become a danger to themselves and others," said Senator Nelson. "Under this legislation we can also better address our workforce needs and support mental health research."

Specifically, SB 10 will:

  • Create a consortium to help coordinate state mental health initiatives across Texas' health-related institutions of higher education;
  • Establish mental health "hubs" at our health-related institutions consisting of psychiatrists, social workers, referral specialists and other mental health professionals;
  • Establish the Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN), which will allow pediatricians and primary care providers to consult with mental health experts on treatment options for their patients;
  • Establish a program allowing youth to be screened for mental health conditions through telemedicine;
  • Increase residency opportunities for psychiatry students in community settings;
  • Expand and coordinate mental health research at our health-related institutions;
  • Direct that judges be educated about mental health resources in their community.

The Senate budget allocates $100 million in new funding for SB 10. The bill will go before the full Senate for consideration.

SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the highest-ranking Republican in the Texas Senate.

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