The Need to Speak on Mental Health

Lawmakers in Texas Need to Discuss the Workforce’s Mental Health

All forms of health are important to a person’s well being, be it physical, mental, spiritual or emotional.

Sometimes, however, mental health can be taken for granted and not as well appreciated as other forms of bodily health. The state of Texas may have fallen victim to this because there is a serious shortage of mental health workers in the state. To be more specific, last year there were 185 Texas counties out of 254 that lacked a single psychiatrist, meaning three million Texans had no psychiatrist on standby when they needed one.

It gets worse when the fact that 40 counties did not have a licensed clinical social worker available, and this isn’t a new thing, either. The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health issued a report about five years ago detailing how there was a serious shortage of mental health aides in Texas and at this point it’s become a reality rather than a mere crisis.

Before even figuring out how to tackle the issue, it should be made known that the economic value of having good mental health services is related to the avoided costs of hospital admissions and involvement in the justice system. However, efficient mental health services can improve the overall workplace and cut down on lost work days. A good way to reform this is to look at the fact that having improved and integrated health care will fix the issue since most adults with mental health issues also have physical ones.

Another way to correct the problem is increasing reimbursement rates on practicing health facilities to customers with Medicaid.