Thu. Sep 29th, 2022

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TEXAS (KTSM) – Children’s mental health advocates in Texas have been calling on state leaders to address gaps in care access. They are pressing the 2023 legislate session to address what they describe as gaps in mental health care support for families and schools.

Texans Care for Children (TCC) outlined its policy recommendations for the legislature to bolster mental health support for children and youth on Wednesday, July 6, saying “significant steps” need to be taken to address gaps in the state’s mental health care and crisis management systems.

The recommendations focused on investments to expand mental health services for children in two specific settings: public schools and affordable treatment plan access to intensive community-based services.

Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP) came together recently at the Texas Capitol for a special meeting. They say that in about 170 counties across Texas, there are one or no psychologists practicing. The TSBEP is where health practitioners receive their license.

They declared that there is not enough mental health practitioners and came up with solutions:

Allow school psychologists to work with children with amendments rules that make it easier, make a pathway for licensed psychologists to work in schools (currently not allowed), and easing some post doctoral training rules for school therapists.

So many times there will be a licensed specialist in School Psychology at a school, but nobody really knows what they do, even the people in authority at the school. So there’s sort of a lack of education in what we do. It’s important because all mental health starts in childhood.

Dr. Elaine Turner, former school therapist

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