Sandra Bland Act at the Capitol

Monica Villarreal, CPPP staff, Hogg Mental Health Policy Fellow

This session Chairman Garnet Coleman authored the Sandra Bland Act (HB 2702), a comprehensive bill that aimed to change the way civilians and law enforcement officers interact. Chairman John Whitmire of the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice filed the companion, SB 1849. Sandra Bland, an African American woman from Illinois, committed suicide while in a […]

First Look — Senate Budget Update Improves Health, Higher Ed. Funding

Eva DeLuna Castro

Today the Senate Finance Committee approved its substitute for the Senate budget proposal (Senate Bill 1), the General Appropriations Act for 2018 and 2019. Total spending proposed for the next budget cycle in SB 1 is $217.7 billion, a 0.7 percent increase compared to the $216 billion in state and federal revenue budgeted for 2016-17. This means a real spending drop of almost eight percent, once population growth and inflation are taken into account. Total General Revenue spending would be $106.3 billion, which would be a 1.6 percent drop from 2016-17 even before any population or inflation adjustment.

Impact of ACA repeal and replace legislation on Mental Health

Monica Villarreal, CPPP staff, Hogg Mental Health Policy Fellow

In December 2016 Congress delivered on a long-standing promise to overhaul the country’s mental health system by passing the 21st Century Cures Act, an achievement that Speaker Paul Ryan called “the most significant reform in a decade.”[1] The Act authorized treatment and prevention programs and created a new Assistant Secretary for mental health at the […]

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 […]

Important Mental Health Bills Would Assure Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services

Monica Villarreal, CPPP staff, Hogg Mental Health Policy Fellow

Texans in need of mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) care too often experience barriers to assistance because insurance companies fail to comply with mental health parity laws. Mental health parity means that insurance benefits for mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) care are equal to coverage for physical health care. For example, […]

Good News on Mental Health in Texas

Monica Villarreal, CPPP staff, Hogg Mental Health Policy Fellow

Building on the state’s recent progress in mental health capacity and quality is a top priority for lawmakers this Legislative Session, as identified in the interim report by the House Select Committee on Mental Health. CPPP is pleased to see this comprehensive and timely report. The report provides a detailed review of eight public hearings […]

Affordable Care Act Repeal Would Mean Less Mental Health Coverage

Monica Villarreal, CPPP staff, Hogg Mental Health Policy Fellow

In media coverage about what a full Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal would mean for Americans, the focus is usually on two main topics: insurance companies not being able to deny anyone with a pre-existing condition coverage, and young adults may stay covered on their parents’ insurance until they reach age 26.  While those are […]

Equal Treatment for Mental Health Needs

Monica Villarreal, CPPP staff, Hogg Mental Health Policy Fellow

Over the next few months, I’ll be writing about “mental health parity.”  This first post explains what “parity” is.  Future posts will look at ongoing mental health parity issues and the intersection with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—including how efforts to repeal or replace the ACA could weaken today’s parity rules. The idea behind mental […]

A New Advocate at CPPP

Monica Villarreal, CPPP staff, Hogg Mental Health Policy Fellow

Hello! I’m excited to join the Health and Wellness team at CPPP as the organization’s first Hogg Foundation Mental Health Policy Fellow. I am a native of Monterrey, Mexico. I moved to Austin in 2010 to attend the University of Texas at Austin, and this past May I graduated with a Master of Public Affairs […]

Innovative Mental Health Peer Support Program Comes to Texas Jails

CPPP logo

Last week, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced it will support three peer support re-entry pilot program sites, funded through a $1 million budget rider passed by the Legislature in 2015. Mental health peer support is a cost-effective, evidence-based practice in which an individual with a lived experience of mental illness provides guidance […]