January 7, 2022

Dallas Morning News: More Beds Alone Won't Solve Texas' Mental Health Crisis

Alison Leonard, a key leader in our mental health practice, has authored new commentary for the Dallas Morning News that highlights the lack of available inpatient care in Texas, and offers a more holistic view on possible solutions moving forward.

In the editorial, she notes there is progress in adding more facilities, but that isn’t enough for long-term change: “More beds is an incredible investment. It will help people in jail receive the mental health treatment they need. However, adding more beds still only supports those experiencing mental health crises. It doesn’t empower us to help them lessen or avoid crises entirely. For high-level prevention, we’ll need to think and invest differently.”

She notes three things that can help not only support those with mental health needs, but also prevent severe crises from happening:

  • De-fragmentize mental health care. Making care integrated creates better treatment plans and cares for the mind and body.
  • Nourish the health care continuumMost people in a mental health crisis end up in the emergency room, and end up there for a long time due to lack of inpatient beds or other resources. Providing a range of outpatient, inpatient and telehealth services can create a better continuum of care.
  • Bring mental health design to the city scale. Add mental health resources in the places where people are everyday, such as schools, grocery stores, public transportation and more.

Read the full editorial here.