East Texas leaders address mental health

East Texas leaders address mental health


Leaders from all over East Texas convened at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center in Lufkin Tuesday, to discuss mental health. During the last legislative session, the Texas legislature allocated more than $300 million to the Texas Department of State Health Services to improve mental health services. A portion of this funding was use to organize the campaign "Speak Your Mind Texas." Susan Rushing CEO of the Burke Center said mental health is a big issue in East Texas. A 2007 surveys showed the two top disorders plaguing East Texas was mental illness and substance abuse.

"We organized county by county people who were interested in working towards solutions,” Rushing said. We partnered with our counties and developed a plan that we thought would work for East Texas.”

Their plan made it to the Texas legislature, and funding was later issued in 2008. This plan has help lower the hospitalization rates by 32 percent. However, rushing said there is still a lot of work to be done.

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