Testimony to the Sunset Advisory Commission
RECOMMENDATIONS RELATED TO CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH:
Increase coordination and collaboration across the multiple systems that serve children and
youth with serious emotional disturbance.
The 83rd Legislature recognized the multisystem nature of mental health when it established
within HHSC the Associate Commissioner for Mental Health Coordination position and the Texas System of Care Consortium, which specifically addresses the needs of children and youth with serious emotional disturbance. Both were significant steps and have already resulted in real improvements in bringing systems together and implementing solutions. However, the level of coordination and collaboration that is needed goes beyond the current authority of the new position and that of the consortium. Texas needs to move forward on strategies to help communities provide coordinated, individualized services and supports to children and youth who have complex mental health needs, including the coordination and blending of funds, improving information and data sharing between systems, and establishing common outcomes across systems to help the state better track and analyze the collective impact of its services to children and youth.