April 14, 2023- Senate Bill 26, filed by state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, will offer grants to health care providers and nonprofit groups who offer mental health treatment, especially those that work with children and their family members. The program will be monitored by Texas Health and Human Services.
The Bill would create a $15 million “Innovation Grant” program designed to expand access to mental health services for children and families statewide. Kolkhorst’s Bill was unanimously approved with a 30-0 vote and will now head to the House.
The Bill states that Texas Health and Human Services would give priority to entities to those who work with children and family members of kids who are considered high risk for mental health issues. The bill also directs the state to consider new funding options for nursing homes that could provide long-term inpatient care to people with behavioral treatment needs but who no longer need to be in the state’s psychiatric hospital system.
The Bill also would require the state to audit local mental health institutes once every 10 years and publish online data related to mental health care. It will also create a discharge and transition program to help people in state hospitals gradually make their way into the community.