Priority Issues

Working Across the Texas Mental Health Landscape

Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute is dedicated to helping Texans obtain effective, efficient mental health care when and where they need it. As a nonpartisan resource for research, analysis, and consulting expertise, its ongoing work in multiple issue areas is informing and assisting policymakers, providers, advocates, and others who are working on strategies and solutions to address Texas’ mental health needs from the state level to the unique challenges in urban and rural communities. The Institute is currently engaged in several high priority issues that are important to the health and wellbeing of all Texans.

Solving the Workforce Shortage

The shortage of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals is a public health crisis for Texas. Of the state’s 254 counties, 207 are designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas defined as having one psychiatrist per 30,000 or more people. The Institute is contributing its expertise to support the work of partners and academic medical institutions seeking solutions to train and retain more mental health care professionals across the state and increase access to care particularly in rural regions. Learn more ➝

Integrating Behavioral Health Care

Nearly a third of adults with ongoing medical conditions also have mental health disorders, while 68% of adults with mental health disorders have ongoing medical conditions that require intervention. Best-practice models of integrated behavioral health care offer overall health and cost benefits while improving outcomes through early screening, diagnosis, treatment, and coordinated care for individuals with mentally illness and co-morbid physical conditions. However, implementing integrated practices is complex and challenging. The Institute recently published a report to inform and guide providers, funders, advocates, and policy makers interested in promoting integrated behavioral health care. Read the report ➝

Talking Openly About Hope and Recovery

Two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental condition fail to receive care. To encourage people to seek the help they need, Texans must change the conversation around mental illness to one of hope and recovery. However, 9 in 10 Texans think it is harder to talk about a mental condition than a physical one. The Institute and its partners launched Okay to Say™, a community-based movement to build awareness that most mental illnesses are treatable and provide a forum for Texans to talk openly about supporting people with mental illness and share stories of hope and recovery. Learn more and join the movement at okaytosay.org.

Mental Health Matters: In The Community

“What we’re trying to restore is the relationships, the ability to talk about what’s going on. It’s very difficult to get better alone. And probably the most important thing that this place offers is the ability to come together. So they’re getting better – together.”
– Brad Kennedy, Executive Director, The Gathering Place

Mental Health Matters is a collaborative video project with the Mental Health Channel, KLRU, the Texas Tribune, and the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, that examines mental health-related policy issues through organizations, programs and individuals that are making a difference.