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Weekly News Roundup

Every Monday, we post news articles, studies, or press releases that cover topics related to the intersection of criminal justice and mental health in Texas. 

West Texas Centers Provides Resources For Mental Health: West Texas Centers is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month by calling attention to the numerous resources available for people living in their 23-county catchment area. 

East Texas institutions to receive flexible grants for mental health services: According to a release, the Hogg Foundation awarded their Reliable Flexible Funding for Mental Health and Well-being (RFF) grants for mental health organizations throughout Texas that are “historically under-resourced.”

Land Swap Helps Bring Mental Health Hospital to Amarillo: West Texas A&M University regents voted unanimously today to approve a land deal in Amarillo that will help to build the only state hospital for inpatient mental health care in the Panhandle.

KCBD Investigates The Mental Health Crisis: What to do when your loved one refuses to seek help: The Lubbock Police Department recognized the growing need for officers to have access to mental and behavioral health experts and learn more skills in areas like de-escalation.

East Texas summit emphasizes mental health treatment realities: In partnership with Andrews Center, the University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine held the inaugural East Texas Mental Health Summit on May 7.

Commissioners get timeline about new mental health diversion center pilot program: Travis County's hospital district said expanding services should begin by October.

Man believed to have been experiencing mental health crisis when he allegedly shot at deputies, barricaded himself in home: The 40-year-old suspect now faces aggravated assault charges after the incident in San Antonio.

HHSC to Host Grand Opening Ceremony at Austin State Hospital May 15: The Texas Legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott approved approximately $305 million in funding to construct the new hospital.

Mental illness, understaffing challenge Texas jails: Texas jail and mental health authorities have struggled for years to move people found incompetent to stand trial from jails to state hospitals for competency restoration.

HHSC Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Brenham State Supported Living Center: The Brenham State School opened in 1974 with about 300 employees and 400 beds. Since then, the facility has transitioned from serving mostly children with intellectual disabilities to providing care to adults.

‘Take action.’ Advocates urge release of Tarrant County inmate with mental health issues: A doctor’s evaluation filed in January found that Kaiyere Campbell lacked “sufficient present ability to consult with defense counsel with a reasonable degree of rational understanding” and/or “a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings” against him.

DA wants mental health records for Melissa Perez, San Antonio mother shot dead by police: Perez, 46, was killed June 23 at her Southwest Side apartment. Family members said she was schizophrenic. Two ex-SAPD officers are charged with murder in her death, a third with aggravated assault.

Brazos County Commissioners Asked To Recruit A Mental Health Facility: A local attorney who represents children in the Texas child protective services system asks Brazos County commissioners how he and others can do to get a local mental health facility.

Texas’ Mental Health Court Programs (podcast): Rocky Dhir talks with Judge Brent Carr about his long years of service in the Tarrant County Mental Health Court, which had the overarching goal of improving outcomes for people with mental illness impacted by Texas’ justice system.

East Texas Mental Health Summit aims to address mental health disparities: Organizers' goals are to address the rising suicide rates in East Texas and to bring people together to talk about mental health.

Hogg Foundation for Mental Health provides grants to Fort Worth, Arlington area mental health organizations: The foundation will invest $5 million over 5 years in reliable, flexible funding to multiple historically under-resourced community-based mental health organizations.

Governor Abbott Announces $34 Million Behavioral Health Campus Project In Uvalde: Governor Greg Abbott today announced a $34 million project to build a behavioral health campus in Uvalde dedicated to providing on-site care to children and adults experiencing mental health crises in 32 counties in the surrounding area. 

Lawsuit names 4 UT Southwestern police officers sued over in-custody death: Kenneth Knotts, an Austin resident, was taken to UT Southwestern Nov. 29, 2022 after city of Hutchins police determined he was suffering a mental health crisis while stopped on the side of the road with a flat tire.

Montgomery County facility for people with disabilities plans $2.5M expansion: The long-standing Montgomery County community Bridgewood Farms for teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities is moving forward with a new leader and renewed vision for its future.

HHSC to Host Community Information Session on $452 Million Construction Project at North Texas State Hospital – Wichita Falls: The new hospital will feature state-of-the-art therapeutic spaces in a secure environment for patients and will have separate spaces for adult and adolescent patients. 

Family of man killed in SWAT incident says he was suffering from mental health crisis: The sister of the suspect killed in a SWAT standoff in West El Paso last week said her brother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was suffering from a mental health crisis. 

Lawsuit filed against Llano County, LCSO in shooting death of man having ‘mental health crisis’: A lawsuit was recently filed against the Llano County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) in connection with a response to an October 2022 mental health call that led to the death of Justin Harrod. 

Facility designed for individuals with intellectual, developmental disabilities benefits Orange County: Spindletop Center opened its new sensory room designed for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; it a space with special equipment designed to help an individual with sensory challenges learn strategies to cope with external stimuli.

Montgomery County courts begin new mental health graduation program: County Court-At-Law 4 serves as the base for the mental health treatment court for Montgomery County. The court handles individuals who have committed criminal conduct but have been identified as having significant mental health issues that contributed to the conduct.

Mental illness issues draw attention at recent workshop, commissioners meeting (Hunt County): Members of the North Texas Behavioral Health Authority conducted a workshop attended by local mental health providers, school officials, police and criminal justice officials, Texas Department of Health and Human Services staff and others involved in mental health issues in Hunt County.

Texas opens new psychiatric hospital in San Antonio: State officials opened the doors recently to a new psychiatric hospital in San Antonio, replacing an aging facility and increasing capacity.

Texas is struggling to diversify its mental health workforce as the state becomes less white: Despite the nation’s growing diversity, the mental health workforce is still predominantly white and English-speaking.

What’s needed to make a diversion center successful? (Travis County): Law enforcement, prosecutors and elected officials point to the creation of a diversion center as a solution to address crime related to mental health and homelessness.


Materials published on the JCMH website are helpful reports and resources for judges and attorneys handling cases regarding persons with mental illness and/or IDD and are intended for reference use only. They are not legal advice, and may not represent the official opinion of the JCMH.

The inclusion of external links are not endorsements by the JCMH of the content of the websites, or of their policies, services or opinions of the organization or individual. The JCMH reserves the right to decline requests for the addition of external resources.