Mental illness at the forefront of discussions in Texas - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Mental illness at the forefront of discussions in Texas

Posted: Updated:

Texas - Mental illness is the focus of attention after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

A new report ranks Texas last in the country when it comes to funding those diagnosed with a mental illness.

Ever since an official said gunman Adam Lanza had Asperger's syndrome, it has stirred up some controversy.

According to the CDC, Asperger's is within the autism spectrum of diseases and can cause communication, behavioral and social challenges in the people who have it.

In response, many experts and parents who have children with Asperger's say there is no correlation between autism and violence and say autism is a developmental disorder, not a mental illness.

This has stirred up discussion about whether state's are adequately funded to treat those diagnosed and whether they provide enough services.

The Center for Public Policy Priorities says the national average for spending on mental health services is $109 a person.

Texas currently spends $36 a person.

Some organizations are hoping to make a difference by partnering with local entities like law enforcement and jails that deal with mental illness on a daily basis.

It's believed the effort would appeal to Texas lawmakers who will soon set the state's budget for the next two years.

Access to counselors and psychiatric care could soon be in danger for many of the near half-million Texans living with a mental illness.

Ahead of the legislative session beginning next month, the state is recommending a 2.1 million dollar cut to community mental health services for adults.

That is on top of the 24.8 million dollars in cuts from the last session.

The Center for Public Policy Priorities say this includes resources like medication management, counseling services and even some crisis resolution services.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says there is a big need for more funding.

Here are some statistics to put things in perspective; one in four U.S. adults experiences a diagnosable mental illness annually, 6 percent have a serious mental illness and one in five children in the U.S. have a diagnosable mental health disorder.

  • Today's Local News HeadlinesToday's Local NewsMore>>

  • Scam targets college students

    Scam targets college students

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:53 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:53:02 GMT
    Millions of dollars in student loans are due each year, but now some scammers are taking advantage of students who are working hard to pay them off. In many cases, the student loan scammer claims to get rid of your debt, but asks for a fee up front.'When you are asked to pay a fee before you get the loan, that's actually illegal in this country. It's called an advanced fee loan scam," said Janna Kiehl with the Amarillo Better Business Bureau.But, student loan debt can quickly become overwhelm...
    Millions of dollars in student loans are due each year, but now some scammers are taking advantage of students who are working hard to pay them off. In many cases, the student loan scammer claims to get rid of your debt, but asks for a fee up front.'When you are asked to pay a fee before you get the loan, that's actually illegal in this country. It's called an advanced fee loan scam," said Janna Kiehl with the Amarillo Better Business Bureau.But, student loan debt can quickly become overwhelm...
  • Snack Pak 4 Kids needs help fighting summer hunger

    Snack Pak 4 Kids needs help fighting summer hunger

    Thursday, April 17 2014 9:27 PM EDT2014-04-18 01:27:33 GMT
    Amarillo, TX - Snack Pak 4 Kids works with area schools to end weekend hunger, but that hunger doesn't end when schools get out for summer.
    Amarillo, TX - Snack Pak 4 Kids works with area schools to end weekend hunger, but that hunger doesn't end when schools get out for summer.
  • Power of the Purse Luncheon

    Power of the Purse Luncheon

    Amarillo,TX - The annual Power of the Purse Luncheon brought many people to the Amarillo Civic Center today. 
    Amarillo,TX - The annual Power of the Purse Luncheon brought many people to the Amarillo Civic Center today.