Increasing Access to Mental Health Peer Support Services

Monica Villarreal, CPPP staff, Hogg Mental Health Policy Fellow

House Bill 1486, sponsored by Chairman Four Price, has been referred to the House Committee on Public Health on March 21. The common-sense proposal would give more access to peer support services to Texans in need of mental health and substance use disorder services. 

Mental health peer support is a cost-effective, evidence-based practice in which an individual with a lived experience of mental illness provides guidance and mentorship to another individual with lived experience. By ensuring a smooth transition from county jails to community mental health centers, peer support re-entry programs can close the revolving door for inmates with a mental illness. 

If passed, HB 1486 would define certified peer support specialists and certified recovery specialists in the state’s Health and Human Service code by establishing reimbursement procedures, clarifying roles, and expanding access to peer services. 

CPPP supports HB 1486 as it will enable more Texans with mental illness to access community-based, recovery-driven peer support services, while ensuring those providing these services are able to be reimbursed for their services. CPPP is grateful for Chairman Price’s continued leadership and dedication to improving the mental health care of Texans.

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