Our Advocacy Program works with  decision makers and elected individuals on a national and local level to create changes that will enhance the mental health care in Fort Bend County. Our Advocates and Needs Council continually assesses the mental health needs of Fort Bend County and works collaboratively with other organizations to meet those needs.  To become a member, please contact us.

Mental Health Policy Achievements from the 84th Legislative Session

Thanks to support from individuals and companies, Mental Health America of Texas continues to make a difference at the state level. Our policy and advocacy staff work year round to effect legislation that benefits all Texans with a mental health disorder. During the 84thlegislative session, Mental Health America of Texas worked closely with other advocates and legislators to increase funding for mental health and substance use disorders by $150.7 million.

Mental Health America of Texas’ advocated strongly for two important bills for all Texans who have received treatment for a mental health disorder. Representative Garnet Coleman’s House Bill 2216 and House Bill 2708 remove stigmatizing questions about mental illness from the driver’s license application and learner’s permit application. In addition, Mental Health America of Texas advocated for improved suicide prevention training for school personnel. Another important win was Senator José Rodriguez’s Senate Bill 1624 requiring that information on mental health and suicide prevention is given to incoming full-time students at Texas colleges and universities.

As leader of the Texas Coalition for Healthy Minds, Mental Health America of Texas brings together more than 25 state-level mental health and health organizations in support of mental health and substance use disorder policy improvements year round.

One major issue that the Texas Coalition for Health Minds pushed for was Senator Charles Schwertner’s Senate Bill 239 that creates a loan forgiveness repayment program for mental health professionals, an important tool in addressing the mental healthcare workforce shortage.The Coalition has become the leading voice on mental health at the Capitol and legislators regularly call upon Mental Health America of Texas and members of the Coalition for input on a variety of mental health and substance use disorder related legislation.

Mental Health America of Texas led a group of mental health and criminal justice advocates who worked together on issues including Crisis Intervention Training for correctional officers, a new forensic director at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, expansion of diagnostic eligibility for Texas Commission on Offenders with Medical and Mental Impairments services, suspension and reinstatement of Medicaid for individuals in county jails, and reducing solitary confinement for individuals in Texas Department of Criminal Justice who have mental health disorders.

Mental Health America of Texas also led a group of substance use advocates that met regularly throughout the session and collaborated on a number of important issues. Notably, Senator West’s Senate Bill 1462 was a huge win for the recovery community. Senate Bill 1462 expands access to Naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication that will save hundreds of lives in Texas.

Watch our website for more information to be added or contact Gyl Switzer at or Cate Graziani at if you have specific questions.

From the MHA Texas July 2015 Newsletter 

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