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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Raising the Bar: Mental Health
07/07/2008

Click to listen to this taped broadcast.

I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

Texas Health Institute, a non-partisan think-tank, recently issued a report identifying four immediate health care challenges Texans face and proposing solutions for policymakers, communities and consumers. One of the key challenges was the lack of mental health services.

Since the Texas Health Institute’s report came out, a national study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry revealed that mental health is the No. 3 reason people seek health care —behind only cancer and trauma cases. The study placed the price tag of lost earnings due to mental illness at $193 billion a year. This is more than the entire value of the recent economic stimulus package, which was valued at about $150 billion.

Mental illness can be managed or prevented with proper care. Sadly, many of the 3.1 million adults and 1.2 million children in Texas who need mental health care either cannot access it or cannot afford it.

Texas Health Institute’s “Raising the Bar on Health Solutions” report recommends 13 policy solutions to address our state’s shortage of mental health services. Among them are recommendations to provide adequate funding for mental health services and support housing programs for people with mental illness. Learn more at HealthPolicyInstitute.org.

For our faith-based hospitals – Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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