HHSC created a team dedicated to Rural Mental Health in September 2022. Rural Mental Health gives voice to rural Texans and the unique opportunities and challenges they experience accessing care.
Rural Mental Health seeks to promote and support rural mental health by:
- Creating synergy by connecting stakeholders who have similar interests or goals;
- Collaborating with a variety of both public and private groups focused on rural mental health;
- Supporting rural Texas communities in their efforts to improve mental health; and
- Highlighting innovative and effective mental health programs and practices in rural Texas communities.
All Texas Access
The All Texas Access Initiative focuses on increasing access to mental and behavioral health services in rural Texas communities.
Each December, a new All Texas Access Report is published that includes updates to the regional plans developed by local mental health authorities and local behavioral health authorities (LMHAs and LBHAs), as well as highlighting new opportunities and challenges rural Texans may have in accessing mental health care.
The 2022 All Texas Access Report highlights opportunities to decrease the incarceration of people with a mental health condition in rural communities.
All Texas Access Data
The Health and Human Services Commission produced a data workbook to illustrate the cost of mental health care in rural communities. The workbook includes:
- The estimated cost to local governments of providing services to people experiencing a mental health crisis;
- The estimated transportation costs of people served by an LMHA/LBHA to mental health facilities;
- The estimated number and cost of people incarcerated with mental illness in county jails; and
- The estimated number of hospital emergency room visits by people with mental illness.
History of All Texas Access
All Texas Access is an initiative directed by Senate Bill (S.B.) 454, 87th Legislature, 2021. Senate Bill 454 continues the work started with S.B. 633, 86th Legislature, 2019. Senate Bill 454 directs HHSC to continue working with regional groups of rural-serving LMHAs and LBHAs and monitoring their regional plans to increase access to mental health services.
All Texas Access and the regional plans seek to address:
- The cost to local governments of providing services to people experiencing a mental health crisis;
- The transportation of people served by an LMHA or LBHA to mental health facilities;
- The incarceration of people with mental illness in county jails; and
- The number of hospital emergency room visits by people with mental illness.