POSTED: Thursday, September 20, 2012 - 11:33am
UPDATED: Thursday, September 20, 2012 - 11:45am
Austin Texas — Texas has a severe shortage of mental health professionals: 202 out of 254 counties do not have enough psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurse specialists and family therapists to treat the needs of the population, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Texas Department of State Health Services oversees 39 different organizations, called Mental Health Authorities, which receive state funding to plan and develop a network of mental health professionals in various regions of the state. The MHAs, which are often referred to as mental health centers, can use state funding to provide mental health services directly to patients or to contract other mental health professionals in the region. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that patients in need have access and choices when seeking out mental health care services.
Although the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that one in four adults experience a diagnosable mental illness in any given year, less than 1 percent of the Texas population received care from state-funded mental health centers in 2011.
Read more  from the Texas Tribune.