Policy impact of access to rural mental health care services : a legislative analysis of TX SB 633




Epstein, Robert G.

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This professional report examined rural mental health care access in Texas based on a scientific literature review and analysis of SB 633. A legislative history of SB 633 will provide insights on how the state operationalized rural mental health access within an existing policy context. This policy context was influenced by the stakeholders who have been engaging with the state. Collaboration between mental health providers is a central strategy of the SB 633 process to increase rural mental health access and will be described in detail. When examined within the policyscape framework, this writer analysis finds collaboration to be a low-cost and highly effective form of policy maintenance. SB 633 uses cost savings and quality of service to measure the degree to which expanding services improved mental health access. This writer believes that cost savings are easy to understand but miss vital aspects of access to mental health care. This writer finds that Texas Statewide Behavioral Health Strategic plan and the NASW Code of Ethics better assess quality mental health access. This writer believes that both cost and these quality measures should be used to improve mental health access


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