Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 15, 2008
Contact: Dave Nelson (512) 463-0112

TARRANT COUNTY RECEIVES STATE MENTAL HEALTH FUNDING AWARD

GRAPEVINE -- Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, announced this week that MHMR of Tarrant County will receive $3.5 million in new state funding for crisis mental health services as part of a statewide push to improve mental health services.

"These funds are going to have a positive impact in the lives of our citizens affected by mental health problems -- the patients and their loved ones," Senator Nelson, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services, said. "Specifically, they are meant to provide treatment alternatives to state hospitals and jails -- which can be avoided in many cases with proper crisis health services."

This week $21.4 million was awarded to 14 local mental health centers for two-year projects that will establish or enhance psychiatric emergency service centers. MHMR of Tarrant County, which just recently received $556,628 for a program designed to reduce incarcerations of citizens affected by mental health, received one of this week's largest awards -- $3,565,474.

Last session the Legislature authorized an $82 million increase for crisis mental health. The Department of State Health Services issued $21 million last fall to 38 local mental health centers to pay for crisis hotline improvements, mobile outreach units and to train law enforcement in mental health. Remaining funds are to be disbursed in the next fiscal year.

"We appreciate the Legislature's commitment to developing a more effective response system for Texans dealing with mental health crises," said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS commissioner. "The additional money will help people get the best possible care in the best possible setting."

SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, which includes parts of Tarrant and Denton counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.

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