Texas Mental Health Public Policy Priorities supported by NAMI Greater Houston FY22-23
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Greater Houston advocates for investing in proactive and preventive strategies for Texans with mental health (MH) disorders. This brings many tangible and intangible health and safety benefits to Texans and reduces costs and tragedies. MH disorders are common, and they begin early (50% by age 14, and 75% by age 24), but treatment is still far from timely. The average delay between symptom onset and treatment is 8-10 years. Early intervention works – to avoid the costs of long-term disabilities, recurring use of emergency rooms and crisis services, homelessness, incarceration and early deaths. MH disorders are often chronic, but they can be managed with timely treatment and community support, leading to well-being and success in life.
Public policy impacts people with mental illness in many ways — from health care to housing to criminalization. Changes in policy can result in improved treatments, increased access to services and better outcomes for people with mental health conditions.