February 3, 2006
A committee appointed by State Health Services Commissioner Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., and charged with reviewing how public mental health crisis services are provided statewide will hold a series of public hearings starting Tuesday.
The purpose of the meetings is to hear comments from medical experts, local officials, community leaders and the public about how services are provided now and how they should be provided in the future.
The Tuesday hearing will be held in San Antonio from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Texas Diabetes Institute auditorium, 701 S. Zarzamora.
A hearing will be held in Austin from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Feb. 15 in the Texas Department of State Health Services' (DSHS) Building 2, 909 W. 45th St. One is scheduled in Big Spring from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Feb. 23 in Big Spring State Hospital, 1901 N. Highway 87. A hearing in Harlingen will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Feb. 27 in Valley Baptist Medical Center's Woodward Conference Center, 2101 Pease.
The first part of each hearing is reserved for testimony from invited speakers, with evening sessions reserved for comments from others. The hearings are open to anyone. There is no advance registration, but those wishing to speak should sign in on arrival.
Members of the review committee represent emergency physicians, county commissioners, county probate courts, judges, sheriffs, police, hospitals, mental health and mental retardation centers, advocacy and consumer organizations and DSHS.
The committee is charged with developing recommendations to best meet the needs of Texans experiencing mental health crises that threaten their health or the health and safety of others.
Access to the state's mental health crisis services is through some 41 community mental health and mental retardation centers.
( News Media: for more information contact Doug McBride, DSHS Press Officer, 512-458-7524.)