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Approximately one-half of all mental illnesses begin by age 14, and each year, over 525,000 Texas children and adolescents experience severe mental health needs. Yet, many Texas children first receive mental health services while in foster care, juvenile justice or special education, instead of through their family doctor, school or community.

Texas State of Mind envisions a different reality in which Texas children will receive effective mental health care as part of their overall health so they can reach their full potential. Within their families, all Texas children will be able to get physical and mental health care from their primary care provider. Within their schools, all Texas children will have access to the mental health services they need to be academically successful. Within their communities, all Texas children will have a network of support working together to address a child’s mental health needs before he or she ends up in juvenile detention or foster care. To achieve these objectives, Texas State of Mind is bringing together agents of change to identify innovative, promising and cost-effective ways to address mental health needs through their family doctor, school or community when children are young. In addition, the organization intends to design the most effective and efficient public benefit possible for Texas children in poverty.
Children are the future of this nation. Early detection and intervention of mental health problems means our children can lead healthy lives and become successful adults. Soldier and American Flags
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Increased violence in our schools and on our streets has thrust the issue of childhood mental health into the spotlight.

Anna’s Story

Anna was happy child. She loved her family, especially her sister. And she loved her stuffed animals. Anna was one of the top performers in her fifth grade class. But when Anna entered Sixth grade, her behavior changed dramatically. Her grades dropped, she became disengaged with school activities, and she became disruptive in class. She started fighting with other children at school. Anna’s parents had recently separated and she was having difficulty adjusting to this change. Anna was on a downward emotional spiral. Increasing awareness about childhood mental health issues and promoting access to better care will help children like Anna lead successful lives. Through the work of the Texas State of Mind initiative, children like Anna will be able to get help early in their struggles. Teachers and counselors will have the resources to better recognize changes in behavior. And parents will have access to a network of qualified professionals to help children with their mental health needs.