Behavioral/Mental Health

One in five Texans experience a mental health condition each year. Half a million Texas children have a serious emotional disturbance. More than two-thirds of people with a behavioral health condition get no treatment for that condition.

Workforce shortages, limited funding and insurance/treatment barriers create obstacles to accessing appropriate behavioral health care. The result is that adults and children in Texas with behavioral health needs increasingly rely on clinically inappropriate settings, such as hospital emergency departments, to receive needed behavioral health treatment. To improve the behavioral health care system and improve access to care, the Texas Hospital Association supports:

  • Health care coverage for low-income individuals with behavioral health conditions. 
  • Funding for behavioral health care that is commensurate with the need for community-based and emergency inpatient services and covers the actual costs of providing care.
  • Increasing access to community-based services to help individuals better managed behavioral health conditions in lower acuity care settings and reduce reliance on impatient hospital beds. 

Additional information on THA's behavioral health policy priorities is available  here


Charge: To discuss and make policy recommendations to the Council on Policy Development regarding behavioral health care issues affecting hospital members that provide behavioral health services (meets as needed).


Chair: Jacob Cuellar, MD, Laurel Ridge Treatment Center
Vice-Chair: Christine (Chris) Bryan, Clarity Child Guidance Center, San Antonio
Heather Chung, Houston Methodist Hospital
Sally Taylor, MD, University Health System, San Antonio
Matthew Feehery, Memorial Hermann Prevention/Recovery, Houston
Charlzetta McMurray-Horton, Ben Taub General Hospital, Houston
Tom Collins, Green Oaks Hospital, Dallas
Laci Laird, ETMC Behavioral Health, Tyler
Celeste Johnson, Parkland Health & Hospital System
Becky Tresnicky, Valley Baptist Behavioral Health System, Brownsville
Sherry Bustin, Oceans Behavioral Hospital Lufkin
Stephen Glazier, UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center, Houston
Ed Prettyman, Texas NeuroRehab Center, Austin


According to Texas Government Code 305.027, portions of this material may be considered “legislative advertising.” Authorization for its publication is made by Jennifer Banda, J.D., Texas Hospital Association, 1108 Lavaca, Suite 700, Austin, TX 78701-2180.