Abbott cut funding for mental health services in Texas by over $200 million in 2021 and 2022


Governor Greg Abbott trimmed funding meant to aid mental health services across the state of Texas by more than $200 million in the last two years, according to federal information.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott.Photo byGage Skidmore / Flickr

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has faced criticism for his statement emphasizing the need for societal improvement regarding mental health in light of the recent shooting incident.

The uproar came from the Governor reaffirming his position that mass shootings primarily stem from mental health concerns rather than gun accessibility.

The Texas Governor said:

We as a state - we as a society - need to do a better job with mental health. Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge. Period. We as a government need to find a way to target that mental health challenge and do something about it".

The decision that has perplexed many is Governor Abbott's reduction of nearly $211 million from the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), the governing body responsible for overseeing mental health services in Texas.

Governor Abbott redirected the funds to bolster his initiative, Operation Lone Star, which involves deploying the National Guard to the Texas-Mexico border.

Among all the Texas agencies, none experienced a more substantial reduction in funding than the HHSC under Abbott's cuts.

This substantial decrease in funding coincides with Texas ranking 44th in the United States regarding overall mental health measures and placing last out of all 50 states in access to mental health care, as reported in the 2022 State of Mental Health in America report.

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