Mental Health Services for Adults

Friends and Family Guide text and links

If you believe you or someone you care about would

benefit from mental health services, the Friends and

Family Guide to Adult Mental Health Services may hold

the answer to your questions.  Follow the appropriate

link below for the guidance you need.

Print version

Print version - Spanish

Accessibility version

Accessibility version - Spanish

Mental Health Services for Adults

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) contracts with 39 Community Mental Health Centers and NorthSTAR to deliver mental health services in communities across Texas. NorthSTAR is a Medicaid managed care plan that serves seven counties in the Dallas Medicaid service region.

Today, community mental health centers, also referred to as Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs) provide services to specific geographic areas of the state, called local service areas. To find out which LMHA provides services in your area, you need to know which county you live in.

In addition to providing services, LMHAs have specific responsibilities. DSHS requires each authority to plan, develop policy, coordinate, and allocate and develop resources for mental health services in the local service area. Each LMHA is also required to consider public input, the ultimate cost-benefit, and client care issues to:

  • ensure consumer choice and the best use of public money in assembling a network of service providers and determining whether to become a provider of service or to contract that service to another organization; and
  • make recommendations relating to the most appropriate and available treatment alternatives for individuals in need of mental health or mental retardation services.

Adult Services Array

The following is not an all-inclusive list of services. Nor are all services available in all service locations. Contact your local mental health authority for specific service details.

Crisis Follow-up and Relapse Prevention: Services provided to people who are not in imminent danger of harm to self or others, but need help to avoid recurrence of the crisis event. The service helps:

  • improve the individual’s reaction to the situation that led to the crisis event;
  • ensure stability; and
  • prevent future crisis events.

Ongoing assessments determine crisis status and needs. It also provides up to 30 days of brief, solution-focused interventions to individuals and families.  It provides help in developing problem-solving techniques to let the person adapt and cope with the situation and stressors that led to the crisis event.

Crisis Intervention Services:  Interventions in response to a crisis used to reduce symptoms of serious mental illness or emotional disturbance and to prevent admission to a more restrictive environment.

Crisis Residential Treatment: Short-term, residential treatments close to home for people with some risk of harm to self of others. These people may have fairly severe functional impairment and require direct supervision and care, but not hospitalization.

Crisis Stabilization Unit: Short-term residential treatment used to reduce acute symptoms of mental illness. Services are provided in a safe environment. Treatment is delivered by clinical staff supervised by a psychiatrist.

Crisis Transportation: Transporting people receiving crisis or crisis follow-up and relapse prevention services from one location to another. Transportation is provided in accordance with state laws and regulations by law enforcement personnel or, when appropriate, by ambulance or qualified staff.

Extended Observation: Up to 48 hour emergency and crisis stabilization service. It provides emergency stabilization in a safe environment with clinicians (including medical and nursing professionals), supervised by a psychiatrist. There is immediate access to urgent or emergency medical evaluation and treatment, and individuals are transferred to a higher LOC when needed.

Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT): Medical and mental health professionals, respond immediately to where a psychiatric crisis is occurring. MCOT is available 24/7 and responds to calls from the home, school, street, or clinic.

Case Management: Primarily site- based services that assist an adult, child or adolescent, or caregiver in gaining and coordinating access to necessary care and services appropriate to the individual's needs.

Mental Health Hospitals: Psychiatric treatment facilities that provide psychiatric evaluation, rehabilitation and prescription drug services, and full discharge planning for people who are in crisis.

Inpatient Hospitalization Services:  Services provided by medical and nursing professionals who provide 24-hour monitoring, supervision, and assistance in a safe environment. Staff provide intensive interventions to relieve acute psychiatric symptomatology and restore the person's ability to function in a less restrictive setting.

Pharmacological Management: This service, provided by a physician or other prescribing professional, deals with the management of psychoactive drugs to treat the signs and symptoms of mental illness.

Counseling (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)): Individual, family, and group therapy used to lessen a person’s symptoms of mental illness. It is also used to increase the individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living. CBT is the preferred treatment for adult counseling. This service includes recovery/treatment planning to improve recovery and resiliency.

Counseling (Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)):  Individual therapy that aims to reduce or eliminate a person’s symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). CPT is the favored treatment for adults with PTSD, including military veterans. This service includes recovery/treatment planning to improve recovery and resiliency.

Medication Training & Support Services: Information about medications and their possible side effects.

Psychosocial Rehabilitative Services:  Social, educational, vocational, behavioral, and cognitive interventions provided by members of a persons treatment team that help improve a person’s ability to develop and maintain:

  • relationships;
  • occupational or educational achievement;
  • independent living skills; and
  • housing.

This service includes recovery/treatment planning to facilitate recovery.

Skills Training & Development:  Training that deals with the serious mental illness and symptom-related problems that interfere with his or her functioning. It provides opportunities for the person to acquire and improve skills needed to function appropriately and independently, and facilitates his or her community integration.

Some other services you may be interested in include:


Last updated July 29, 2015