Hundreds of times a day across Texas, people go into crisis and are placed in a state mental health hospital system that is itself in crisis. A 2015 report by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) found that five of the 11 hospitals in the system were in such bad shape that repair wasn't a realistic option. They have to be replaced.
That's the bad news. The good news is that the Texas Legislature has the opportunity to transform this system this session. In the recent budget put forth by Senate Finance Chair Jane Nelson is a proposed $1 billion for the state mental health hospital system. That amount would be transformative for the state and the mental health of our people.
Photo: A suggestion box in the lobby of the forensic ward at the Terrell State Hospital in Terrell. (Rose Baca/The Dallas Morning News)