Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"A Mental Disaster"

One of Fort Bend County's biggest issues is treatment of its citizens that have mental health disorders. The mental health services that are offered to these vulnerable folks are already strained by the current budget restraints. This is a good article that goes into what the Texas Leg is proposing for future cuts.

County Judge Lonnie Hunt from Houston County sums up the problem:
"The patients don't get the help they really need, things just keep getting worse and local taxpayers end up paying the cost to house them in jail."

This wrongheaded solution is a cost escalator for the County. It cost between $10 and $20 per day to treat a person at a community mental health center, but it cost Fort Bend County about $150 per day to treat these folks at the County Jail.

The County has set up a Mental Health Public Defender's Office so that we can identify these patients and stop them from cycling through the jail, but it is only the tip of the iceberg.

Let your legislator know how important it is to fund mental health care, so that the mental health disaster can be averted.

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