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Rep. Price, Four

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Chairman Four Price Statement regarding Governor's Roundtable on School Safety and Children's Mental Health  print page

by: Rep. Price, Four
05/23/2018

~ Price emphasized more progress can/must be achieved for Children's Mental Health ~

Austin, Texas --- “I thank Governor Greg Abbott for inviting me to participate in today's roundtable discussion on school safety. I appreciated the opportunity to share the insight I gained through our office's focused work for the last two and half years on mental health issues, including children's mental health. Today's three hour roundtable consisting of robust conversations was a positive step forward and will likely result in progress on school safety and children's mental health.

In 2016, the House Select Committee on Mental Health, created via the leadership of Speaker Joe Straus, dived deep into mental health matters. This select committee which I had the privilege of chairing held eight hearings on separate days which included testimony from over 100 invited expert witnesses. The committee's findings, detailed in a comprehensive written report, served as the catalyst for several successful legislative measures that will help increase access to mental health services throughout our entire state. One area more progress can and must be achieved is children's mental health, including early intervention and treatment.

We have not rested on this issue. Specifically, one day prior to the horrific event at Santa Fe High School, the House Committee on Public Health, which I chair, held a four hour hearing on children's mental health and heard invited expert testimony from both clinicians and educators. The committee hearing of last Thursday centered on the following interim charge:

Study and make recommendations to improve services available for identifying and treating children with mental illness, including the application of trauma- and grief-informed practices. Identify strategies to assist in understanding the impact and recognizing the signs of trauma in children and providing school-based or community-based mental health services to children who need them. Analyze the role of the Texas Education Agency and of the regional Education Service Centers regarding mental health. In addition, review programs that treat early psychosis among youth and young adults.

I intend to introduce at the earliest opportunity legislation regarding children's mental health including refiling a version of House Bill 11 from last session.”

To read the report of the House Select Committee on Mental Health see:
http://www.house.texas.gov/_media/pdf/committees/reports/84interim/Mental-Health-Select-Committee-Interim-Report-2016.pdf
To access the May 17, 2018 hearing of the House Committee on Public Health see:
http://www.house.texas.gov/committees/committee/?committee=C410

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