• DSHS HIV/STD Program

    Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873
    Austin, Texas 78714

    Phone: (737) 255-4300

    Email the HIV/STD Program

    Email data requests to HIV/STD Program - This email can be used to request data and statistics on HIV, TB, and STDs in Texas. It cannot be used to get treatment or infection history for individuals, or to request information on programs and services. Please do not include any personal, identifying health information in your email such as HIV status, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, etc.

    For treatment/testing history, please contact your local Health Department.

    For information on HIV testing and services available to Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, please contact your local HIV services organization.

Mental Health Services Frequently Asked Questions

Area Question Answer
Provider Education Can an LPC-I (An LPC Intern who is working to obtain their necessary practice hours for licensure) provide mental health services?
  1. An LPC-I is not listed on the National Monitoring Standards (NMS) as a provider of mental health services;
  2. DSHS does not designate intern status versus professional, (The standards do require that client interactions with students/interns are supervised as per the Texas Department of State Health Services requirements);
  3. An agency can determine or designate in its policy if an LPC-I can provide services.
Intake & Service Eligibility Determination How can an agency determine the literacy level of a client?
  1. See these links at Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)
    • Short Healthcare Literacy-Spanish & English (SHL-S&E),
    • Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine-Short Form (REAL-SF);
    • Short Assessment Health Literacy for Spanish Adults (SAHLSA-50)
  2. If an agency does not want to use a standardized tool then they can use a medical assessment, for example ask the client to repeat back to the interviewer what their diagnosis means and what they were told by their provider; what medications they are on and why. From this assessment, a mental health provider should be able to determine if the client has the literacy level to understand their mental health diagnosis, plan of care and their medications.
Interdisciplinary Case Conferences Cross communication/collaboration between medical & mental health providers
  1. A mental health provider needs to ensure there is a release of information to share information regarding a client;
  2. The lack of communication among providers can often be a systems issue which can be referred to the DSHS Systems Consultant to assist in resolution.
Treatment plan
  1. Does a psychiatrist have to complete the same documentation requirements as a therapist?
  2. What if a psychiatrist chooses to document the plan of care as per the medical model?
  3. When a psychiatrist or provider documents the number of visits and frequency of visits does this have to be exact?
  4. Does a provider need to document the transition and discharge plan in the treatment plan?
  1. Yes, as per the NMS and provider who is funded by Ryan White had to follow the documentation guidelines for a treatment plan
  2. The psychiatrist still has to follow the guidelines, and in many cases the medical model documentation often includes the requirements in the standards.
  3. Providing the number of visits and the visit frequency as noted in the standards for a mental health treatment plan is only an estimate and does not have to be exact.
  4. Yes, documenting the transition between another provider and discharge from one provider to another is a standard of care.
Discharge What if an agency’s policy for discharge is more stringent than the guidelines in the standards? For example, the standards note if a client misses 3 consecutive appointments in a 6 month period the client may be discharged. So if an agency sets a policy to discharge a client if they miss 3 appointments in 3 months, can they be discharged?
  1. The DSHS policies are a minimum standard that applies to the entire State of Texas with the goal of standardizing the care for all clients;
  2. Regional policies can be developed by the AA that are more restrictive as long as all clients are treated fairly within the region.
  3. DSHS does not set local policies.

Last updated December 22, 2015