OUR VIEW: Legislature should enhance mental health care

Higher anxiety levels require better services for students


artwork by Kevin Ronquillo

  Given the wealth and population of Texas, the lack of resources for mental health care is unreasonable. We, as the youth of Texas, should not be left to deal with mental health issues virtually alone.

  Texas is one of the lowest ranking states for mental health care. After the Uvalde shootings, it is important to put new mental health care and prevention methods in place. With the rise in school shootings after the open-carry law went into effect in Texas and the residual effects of studying online for part of the pandemic, student feel increased anxiety and stress which can lead to mental health issues and even suicide. 

  The first step should be to go to school counselors or psychologists to get help. However, not all schools have the funds for enough mental health professionals. 

  The solution is to have Texas supply more accessible mental health care institutes throughout the state and for all types of people. Adding more counselors, psychologists and insurance plans which cover mental health are essential to helping young people through their mental health issues.

  Outside of school, there is also very little access to mental health care because of the lack of providers and coverage by insurance. Add that to the fact that Texas ranks last in insured residents, and the problem worsens. Without insurance therapy and other mental health care programs can cost around $100 or more per hour. These conditions make receiving mental health treatments extremely difficult. 

  One solution to this problem is expanding Medicare in Texas, a step the state legislature is reluctant to do to provide quality care to Texas residents. Expanding what is available through the Affordable Care Act could help many more lower socio-economic residents. 

  Those who do not see a problem with Texas’s current mental health care system argue that there is an appropriate amount of mental health treatments in place; however, recent information on teen deaths has moved gun deaths ahead of car accidents as the number one killer of children in Texas. If the state places more funding into mental health, perhaps this would not be the case, since school shooters overwhelmingly suffer from mental health issues.  

  With mental health becoming more prevalent in today’s society, it is important to supply enough mental health professionals to keep up with the demand. The state legislature needs to take notice of the problem provide more health care.