Advocacy & Public Policy

Through advocacy and education, Mental Health America of Texas impacts policies on mental health and substance use disorders and suicide prevention at the state level.

Our on-going efforts to affect systems-level changes improve the lives of individuals with mental illness and substance use disorder, combat stigma, promote mental health, prevent mental illness, support suicide prevention and promote recovery.

We provide policymakers, state leaders and other stakeholders with educational materials, research, testimony and advice about issues related to mental health.

Policy activities include:

  • Setting policy priorities.
  • Leading collaborative efforts of mental health advocates to create legislative changes that improve the prevention and treatment of mental illnesses and substance use disorder.
  • Interacting with state agencies and other stakeholders to assure implementation of policy initiatives.
  • Educating policymakers, state leaders and other stakeholders about issues related to mental health.
  • Developing policy documents about important issues.
  • Engaging with other stakeholders to make Texas a healthier state.

MHA Texas is also a member of, and facilitates, the Texas Coalition for Healthy Minds, a coalition of 30 organizations with a primary or otherwise important focus on mental health and/or substance use disorder.


summary of the 85th Texas LEGISLATure on mental health

Download the summary.



View MHA Texas'  Legislative Agenda

Support for HB 337 -  To reinstate Medicaid benefits once an inmate is released from jail.

Support for SB 1369 and HB 3019 to establish a criminal penalty for boarding home operators or employees that cause injury to a child, person with a disability, or elderly Individual.


In addition, MHA Texas supports the legislative priorities of the following coalitions:

Texas Coalition for Healthy Minds Priorities:

Barriers to Care: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefit Parity

Access to Care: Healthcare Workforce

Expanding Access to Care Across the Continuum

Justice & Mental Health Coalition draft priorities

Substance Use Disorder Coalition of Texas’ Policy Priorities

The Texas Suicide Prevention Council's Texas State Plan for Suicide Prevention


84th Legislative Session:

Our top priority for the 2015 Legislative Session was investment in accessible, effective services for the prevention and treatment of mental illness and substance use disorder. Other priorities included improving school-related suicide prevention, and expanding mental health and substance use disorder workforce.  Read our full 2015 Legislative Platform.

84th Legislative Successes – Read the article.


Gyl Switzer
Public Policy Director
512.454.3706 ext. 203