THREE MUSTS FOR TX SB 10, SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH CARE BILL

May 22, 2019 by

[UPDATE AS OF 5.22.19, 10:50 A. M. –  Provisions of SB 10 have been woven into SB 11 which is now up for 3rd reading on the House floor.  I have personally contacted both Sen. Nelson’s and Gov. Greg Abbott’s offices plus I have sent out this article to all Texas Legislators.  I believe these three points MUST be well-articulated in the final SB 11 bill before it becomes law.  – Donna Garner]

“Three Musts for TX SB 10, School Mental Health Care Bill”

By Donna Garner

5.22.19

SB 10 creates the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium which is supposed to make it easier for Texas school children to gain access to mental health care services through telehealth [e.g., students in rural settings) and child psychiatric entities.

POINT #1:  SB 10 must contain strong language that requires “informed consent” instead of just “parental consent” before a child younger than 18 years of age receives mental health services.  Informed consent means that a detailed explanation of assessments and the risks and benefits of such procedures have to be clearly explained and documented to the parent(s) before a student younger than 18 years of age could be treated.  

POINT #2:  SB 10 must not be a way for the pharma industry to “get rich quick” by pushing increased psychotropic medications for youth with mental health issues.  SB 10 must clearly state that before any psychotropic medications are ever prescribed, students have to first undergo extensive physical exams (and diagnostic procedures/medical tests, if needed) to determine that their behavioral and/or learning problems are not caused by a physical condition that needs treatment.

POINT #3:  SB 10 must make it very clear that credentialed health care professionals are first to be encouraged to utilize therapeutic methods that do not require psychotropic medications. Only after such therapeutic methods have been exhausted should psychotropic medications be introduced.

BOTTOM LINE:  I urge Texas Legislators to require that well-articulated language be included in SB 10 that mandates “informed consent” and the use of psychotropic medications only after other industry-approved, therapeutic methods have been exhausted.    

This is the link to the 5.21.19 HRO of SB 10:  https://hro.house.texas.gov/pdf/ba86r/sb0010.pdf#navpanes=0

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