Uvalde prompted Texas to begin taking psychological well being in faculties extra severely. Is it sufficient?

The Could 24th taking pictures at Robb Elementary college in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 kids and two academics pushed a number of vital points into the nationwide dialog, together with the supply of weapons, college safety, and psychological well being entry.

Whereas the phrase “psychological well being” has been used repeatedly in politics to keep away from the gun management debate, there was a big lack of entry to psychological well being care in Uvalde previous to the taking pictures.

Texas ranks final in the US relating to entry to psychological well being care. It’s additionally on the backside for the variety of individuals insured. However even in case you are insured, 14% of Texas kids with medical health insurance don’t have any protection for remedy of psychological or emotional issues.

The numbers are much more grim if you exit into the nation. 75% of rural counties throughout the US don’t have any psychological well being suppliers, and Texas has the very best variety of counties with no psychological well being care suppliers, in response to an ABC Information evaluation of Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Companies information.

That is particularly vital in rural areas like Uvalde, the place psychological well being professionals have been few and much between, and you’ll have to drive for hours to see one. In keeping with to the Division of Well being and Human Companies rankings for 2022, Uvalde had one psychological well being care supplier for each 1,780 individuals. One of the best performing counties in the US have one supplier for each 250 individuals.

Rural areas throughout the nation have numbers much like Uvalde’s 2022 numbers. They’re what’s generally known as psychological well being deserts, and troubled children could should undergo for months or a 12 months or longer earlier than getting in to see a psychological well being skilled.

Within the days following the taking pictures, the state expanded its Texas Baby Well being Entry By Telemedicine (TCHATT) program to any districts who need it. Will it’s sufficient to assist the hundreds of thousands of scholars in want?

On this particular report, host Bonnie Petrie explores the depth of the psychological well being disaster in faculties, together with obstacles in the best way of entry to care and doable options being examined proper now within the wake of Uvalde.

Texas Public Radio is a part of the Psychological Well being Parity Collaborative, a bunch of newsrooms which can be protecting challenges and options to accessing psychological well being care in the U.S. The companions on this challenge embody The Carter Heart, The Heart for Public Integrity, and newsrooms in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas.”

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