~February 18th hearing established the 'baseline' for future committee work~
"Yesterday, we began our committee's vital work recognizing that there is a genuine and heightened awareness on a national, state, and local level regarding mental health and behavioral health issues. Our hearing, nearly seven hours in length, allowed the committee, interested stakeholders and the public to establish a succinct baseline of the existing landscape of the mental health and behavioral health systems and services in Texas.
Having established this baseline understanding will allow the committee to effectively springboard to the specific areas set forth in Speaker Joe Straus' Proclamation. In that regard, I plan to call the committee to the Capitol for several additional hearings. Public testimony will be heard in at least one of those hearings. At these future hearings, the committee will examine many and varied components, including the following:
• Nexus between Mental/Behavioral Health and Public Education/Higher Education.
• Nexus between Mental/Behavioral Health, Law Enforcement and Criminal/Juvenile Justice.
• The innovative services taking place in Texas.
• How to create a more integrated and efficient care system.
• How to improve access, continuity of care and outcomes.
• The challenges of providing care in underserved areas and rural areas.
I am grateful for the keen interest all committee members and their staffs have in this major health topic which is also of concern to so many persons throughout Texas."
Hal Talton, Chief of Staff & General Counsel
State Capitol, Austin, Texas