Behavioral/Mental Health


One in five Texans experience a mental health condition each year. Half a million Texas children have a serious emotional disturbance. More than two-thirds of people with a behavioral health condition get no treatment for that condition.

Workforce shortages, limited funding and insurance/treatment barriers create obstacles to accessing appropriate behavioral health care. The result is that adults and children in Texas with behavioral health needs increasingly rely on clinically inappropriate settings, such as hospital emergency departments, to receive needed behavioral health treatment. To improve the behavioral health care system and improve access to care, the Texas Hospital Association supports:

  • Health care coverage for low-income individuals with behavioral health conditions. 
  • Funding for behavioral health care that is commensurate with the need for community-based and emergency inpatient services and covers the actual costs of providing care.
  • Increasing access to community-based services to help individuals better managed behavioral health conditions in lower acuity care settings and reduce reliance on impatient hospital beds. 

Additional information on THA’s behavioral health policy priorities is available here


Mental Health Parity

THA Behavioral Health Council

Charge: To discuss and make policy recommendations to the Council on Policy Development regarding behavioral health care issues affecting hospital members that provide behavioral health services (meets as needed).


Chair: Jacob Cuellar, MD, Laurel Ridge Treatment Center
Sherry L Cusumano, RN, Medical City Green Oaks, Dallas
Kathy Griffis, Titus Regional Medical Center, Mount Pleasant
Brandy Hart, HCA Healthcare, Nashville, TN
Melissa Lehman, RN, CHRISTUS Health, Irving
Charlzetta (Charlie) McMurray-Horton, Ben Taub General Hospital – Harris Health System, Houston
Stephen M (Steve) Glazier, FACHE, UT Harris County Psychiatric Center, Houston
Laci Laird, Oceans Behavioral Hospital Lufkin
Edgar E Prettyman, Psy.D, Texas NeuroRehab Center, Austin
Becky Tresnicky, Valley Baptist Medical Center – Brownsville
Zelia Baugh, JPS Health Network, Fort Worth
Christine (Chris) Bryan, Clarity Child Guidance Center, San Antonio
Heather Chung, PhD, Houston Methodist Hospital
Sally E Taylor, MD, University Health, San Antonio
Staff Representative: Sara González, Texas Hospital Association, Austin

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