Opportunities for the Prevention, Intervention & Treatment of Behavioral Disorders

Testimony to House Appropriations Committee

Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness emerge in childhood. Mental illness and substance
abuse impact more than the individuals who suffer from them. It has been estimated that if all
of the costs and related losses associated with severe mental health and substance abuse
disorders could be eliminated, the Texas economy would be approximately 10% larger than its
present size.

Strengthening state efforts related to the prevention and early intervention of mental health
and substance abuse disorders in childhood and adolescence offers the greatest opportunity to
avoid the high human and economic costs associated with these disorders.

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