FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/19/2016
Representative Murr Hosts Mental Health Meeting in Kerrville
KERRVILLE, TEXAS - Today, State Representative Andrew Murr hosted the second meeting of the year in Kerrville to discuss the mental health needs of citizens living in the Hill Country, West Texas and South Texas. The meeting, held at the Peterson Regional Medical Center, was attended by local elected officials, the local mental health authority, private facility and state hospital representatives, law enforcement officers, members of the court system and many others.
Rep. Murr, who serves on the House Select Committee on Mental Health, said the goal of the meeting was to hear about some of the many issues faced by those providing care in rural Texas in order to help inform the decisions made by his committee and the Texas Legislature as a whole when it reconvenes in January.
“Getting all of these folks together in one room is critical, because they are all involved in addressing mental health issues in our part of the state,” said Rep. Murr. “Exchanging ideas, sharing successes and failures, and working to streamline our system at the regional and state levels can only serve to improve our ability to deliver the best care possible to those in need, while ensuring taxpayers are protected from inefficiency and waste of finite resources.”
The Texas House Select Committee on Mental Health was formed in the fall of 2015 to look at how mental health impacts criminal justice, juvenile justice, public and higher education, insurance, public health and appropriations. In addition to hearing from attendees, at today’s meeting Rep. Murr also shared his thoughts after nearly a year of serving on this committee and some of the policy goals associated with this broad topic.
"The goal of this committee is to take a comprehensive view of how to improve the state’s behavioral health system,” Rep. Murr continued. “We are looking to find ways to improve early identification of mental illness, increase collaboration among entities that deliver care, look for better processes to measure outcomes, and provide better care to our veterans. But in order to chart the path forward that will create the most efficient and effective system, we’ve got to start by asking the folks in the trenches what they need in order to do their jobs well.”
Rep. Murr concluded, “There are a lot of very dedicated folks in this community working with a servant’s heart to help those in need. Many of them are in this room today, and I want you to know that I really appreciate your efforts, your willingness to be a part of this meeting today, and your willingness to help find solutions to the challenges we face.”