Grant Awarded to Help Treat Mental Illness

Local News

Every year more people with a mental illness get involved with the criminal justice system without getting the care they need. One grant in particular will help those people stay away from the criminal justice system and get them treated.

The United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has awarded a $4,000,000 grant to Tropical Texas Behavioral Health under the Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program.

Tropical Texas Behavioral Health was one of 17 programs across the nation to receive this grant.

One of the main purposes of this grant is to improve the screening and treatment for anyone that has a mental illness and is involved with the criminal justice system.

Ricardo Rodriguez, Hidalgo County District Attorney says, “Now there’s going to be resources where Texas Tropical, the court system, the jail system will be able to identify these individuals and get them the proper treatment that they need. Whether its medication or its counseling, but give them a chance, so they can at one point, be out in society and function just like anyone else.”

Tropical Texas CEO says this grant will go a long way by helping those with a mental illness stay out of jail, but at the same time help get their life together.

Terry Crocker TTBH CEO, “This provides us a way to make sure that outpatient care happens, because as a condition of staying in the community, staying out of jail, they have to be compliant with treatment. That then helps our long term basis in doing patient education, med education, and getting to the point in their individual journey with understanding their mental illness. That’s where the real impact is going to be made.”

Individuals will be able to get treatment in jail, court, at home, or at a clinic. Currently, 30% of Hidalgo County’s incarcerated population has some form of mental illness.

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