State Lawmakers Discuss Mental Health Budget

Mentally ill patients most re-admitted, costly

By Chris Tomlinson
|  Wednesday, May 9, 2012  |  Updated 5:29 AM CDT
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State Lawmakers Discuss Mental Health Budget

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Texas lawmakers plan to hear expert testimony on how to improve the state's mental health programs.

Mental illness is one of the biggest problems facing the Texas health care system. State-run mental health facilities don't have enough beds and the majority of people in county jails require some form of mental health treatment.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee plans to meet Wednesday morning to discuss what the Legislature can do about it.

On Tuesday, experts told the committee that the people with mental illness and substance abuse problems are the most frequently re-admitted patients. Local hospital administrators and sheriffs complain they spend too much time and money dealing with people who have treatable mental illnesses.

But lawmakers will also likely face another budget shortfall next year.

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