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Texas rural health care is lagging; Medicaid managed care can help

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The Texas House of Representatives’ Public Health Committee will hold a public hearing focused on rural health this week, and they’ve invited comment on ways to strengthen Texas’ health care workforce and address rural health care challenges.

As the executive director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Texas, I’d like to address the importance of mental health care access for rural Texans and highlight a resource already addressing this challenge: Medicaid managed care.

At the end of 2020, a report by NAMI found that 1 in 5 adults experience some symptoms of mental illness each year. According to Mental Health Texas, more than 3.3 million adults in Texas are living with a mental illness. The conversation around mental health and behavior disorders has shifted as our world changes and we emerge from a global pandemic. In 2022, addressing mental health, especially in our young people, has never been more important.

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