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Texas Matters: 75 Years Of Advocating For Mental Health - The Hogg Foundation

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In the spring of 1949 nearly every major newspaper in Texas published an eight-part series called “The Shame of Texas.” It was a shocking and horrid look at the state of mental health care in Texas and exposed them as the nation’s worst mental hospitals.

Since then there have been periodic attempts at reform and fully funding mental health care in Texas – with mixed success.

Today there continues to be a great unmet need for mental health professionals in the state. One reason for that is the flaccid mental health reimbursement rate for Medicaid patients. Only 21 percent of Texas psychiatrists will accept Medicaid patients. 

Meanwhile one in Five adults in Texas will experience a mental health concern at some point this year.

Over 20 percent of children 9 to 17 have a diagnosed mental illness.

This lack of accessible care and professional treatment for mental health is a contributing factor to chronic homelessness, domestic violence and loss of worker productivity.

The history of Texas dealing with mental health is told in the new book “Circuit Riders for Mental Health – The Hogg Foundation in Twentieth Century Texas.”

Bill Bush – a professor of history at Texas A&M San Antonio is the author of “Circuit Riders for Mental Health – The Hogg Foundation in Twentieth Century Texas.” Published by Texas A&M University Press.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi