Mental Health America's Regional Policy Council

On July 19, Annalee Gulley, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at Mental Health America of Greater Houston, attended MHA’s Regional Policy Council (RPC) with more than 50 MHA affiliates, industry partners, government officials and legislators in Denver, Colorado. Her presentation, entitled, “Pivotal Moments in Health Policy: Pitfalls and Opportunities: Meeting with affiliate experts from Indiana, Montana, Texas and Tennessee,” focused on lessons learned during the 85th Texas Legislative Session. Gulley emphasized the importance of a preventative model of care in which Texas would take more proactive approach to mental and behavioral health than during the previous two legislative sessions, leading to cost savings to tax payers of almost $2.2 billion.

In addition to advocating for a prevention model, Gulley also spoke to the legislative gains won because of an active effort to educate and engage legislators regarding the current mental health and behavioral health systems of care – providing a holistic view of Texas’ current funding and service models. Cited repeatedly was the formation of the innovative House Select Committee on Mental Health, as well as creating messaging and funding solutions that remain feasible during economic downturn and the ongoing efforts to combat existing pitfalls within the legislative process, which include a predisposition to consider mental health legislation as an unfunded mandate or government overreach and the conflation of maternal mental health legislation with pro-choice legislation.

Tags: media-center,