AUSTIN, TX – Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, today announced plans for legislation to strengthen the state's mental health system.

"Especially in light of recent tragedies, we need to expand our efforts to connect individuals with mental health issues to the services they need," Senator Nelson said. 

Specifically, her bill will:

  • Create a consortium to help coordinate state mental health initiatives across Texas' health-related institutions of higher education; and
  • Establish the Child Psychiatry Access Program (CPAP), which will allow pediatricians to consult with psychiatry hubs at Texas medical schools.

Texas universities are already engaged in several behavioral health projects, and a consortium would create a framework by which the institutions can share best practices and collaborate on research, psychiatry workforce issues, telemedicine, and other needs. "By harnessing the expertise of our medical schools, we can spur research and innovate solutions to difficult challenges we face with improving statewide access to mental health services."

Despite additional funding to graduate medical education, Texas and its growing population face serious shortages in the mental health workforce, particularly in child psychiatry. CPAP will create hubs of on-call psychiatrists, therapists and other providers who will be available for consultations with Texas pediatricians. "These hubs will help triage the need for child psychiatry and better equip pediatricians to meet the needs of their patients," Senator Nelson said. 

The State of Texas is projected to spend nearly $8 billion on behavioral health services statewide in fiscal years 2018-19.

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.

###

More Updates

Senator Nelson Salutes New Multi-Purpose Arena in Fort Worth

Thanks in part to legislation authored by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, the City of Fort Worth is working to complete construction on the new Dickies Arena - a multi-functional facility that will host the Fort Worth Stock Show, large concerts and sporting events.

Read More

Senator Jane Nelson's Annual 40th Birthday Party

Senator Nelson's fund raiser, a.k.a. her Annual 40th Birthday Party, is fast approaching. Here are the details.

Read More

Senator Nelson Vows Legislative Response to Flotation Pod Death

Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, announced today that she will pursue legislation in response to the death of a 71-year-old woman who drowned in a flotation pod in Flower Mound.

Read More
Your browser has javascript disabled or does not support javascript, some site functionality may not work as a result