SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH BEHAVIORAL HEALTH DISORDERS - 1988
The League of Women Voters of Texas supports the right of all persons who have behavioral health disorders to have access to services designed to help them reach and maintain an optimal level of functioning in the least restrictive environment. The League believes that state government should ensure that the following services are accessible to persons with behavioral health disorders:
- residential services
- non-residential services
- continuity of care services
- outreach to those who cannot or will not seek assistance
- programs for special populations.
The League supports these actions to improve the number and quality of services available for people with behavioral health disorders:
- provide incentives for community-based residential programs
- implement measures to encourage public and private funding of long-term rehabilitative care
- provide technical assistance to, and regulation of, housing providers such as room and board homes that house patents with behavioral health disorders
- implement measures to prevent discrimination and encourage community acceptance of residents with behavioral health disorders, including community education about serious behavioral health disorders
- supplement federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for mentally disabled persons
- allocate state funds to local mental health authorities according to need for services and performance level and quality
- provide incentives for local mental health authorities to develop residential services for persons who are most difficult to place
- increase the number of physicians who receive training in the public system for behavioral health disorders
- expand academic and research opportunities in the public system for behavioral health disorders
- require continuing education and in service training for mental health professionals and direct care staff in the public system for behavioral health disorders
- provide higher salaries and benefits as required to attract and retain qualified personnel in the public health system for behavioral disorders
The League supports funding of services for persons who have behavioral health disorders by:
- state government
- state government through participation in federal programs
- city, county and other local governments
- private insurance
- individuals to the best of their ability.
The federal government is currently the major funding source for research on behavioral health disorders. The League supports sharing the responsibility for financing research on the prevention, causes, treatment, and need for treatment of those with behavioral health disorders with state government and the private sector.
League delegates to the 1987 state Convention adopted a new study of the state mental health and mental retardation system, with emphasis on persons who are seriously mentally ill. There was excellent participation in the study with 75% of local Leagues responding. The consensus indicated strong support for access to a range of high-quality services by Texans with serious mental illness, and public education regarding serious mental illness to combat stigma and discrimination against persons who suffer from it. The position on services for the seriously mentally ill was adopted in November 1988.