Texas Senate hearing focused on mental health services – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
The second day of the Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans hearing focused on mental health.
Following the shooting at the school in Uvalde, the committee wanted to find ways to try to prevent it from happening again.
“Mental health is everyone’s business,” said Sonja Gaines of the Texas Health and Human Service Commission. “We all play a role.”
That’s why several mental health agencies across the state shared with members the issues they face.
A key theme was often repeated regarding the need for more mental health workers.
Calls for transparency in the investigation into the Uvalde school massacre continue along with discussions about how the state is moving forward to keep schools safe. NBC 5’s Allie Spillyards reports.
“The state continues to face a shortage of mental health professionals,” said Dr. Stephanie Chapman, director of primary care psychology. “If I may add shortages of mental health professionals who speak Spanish as well as mental health professionals who reflect the communities they serve.”
Possible solutions were presented, such as having schools offer mental health curricula and even mental health screenings at the school level.
“Just as schools conduct vision screenings and check the immunization status of all students, they can use brief validated tools to assess how students are feeling and coping, also asking about negative childhood experiences. that increase the risk of mental health problems,” Chapman said.
All organizations try to address mental health as best they can. Speakers at Wednesday’s hearing discussed how parents need to be involved and willing to provide their children with the help they need.
“The work we do is not to replace family,” said Dr. David Lakey, president of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium. “It does not replace the role of parents.”