MHMRA of Harris County - Annual Report Fiscal 2013-2014 - Page 16

The consequences of untreated mental illness are expensive for everyone: school disengagement and failure, juvenile or criminal justice involvement, victimization, acute psychiatric crises, unemployment, homelessness, and suicide. Our emergency rooms and jails paint the picture of insufficient resources. Ben Taub General Hospital’s Emergency Room recorded more than 10,000 psychiatric crisis episodes in 2014. The number of mental illnessrelated calls received by the Houston Police Department Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) increased from 10,800 in 2003 to 29,272 in 2013.1 “unmet needs in a variety of professional areas such as doctors, psychologists, nurses, social workers, teachers, skilled in the recognition and appropriate intervention techniques for dual diagnosis; psychiatrists who accept dually diagnosed people into their practice; time-limited day program services that restore mental health in dually diagnosed people and return them to mainstream network providers; respite services to provide short-term relief for caregivers; in-home behavioral training for caregivers to effectively manage the behaviors associated with mild symptoms and to recognize the early stages of a worsening condition; training for personnel in the criminal justice system in the recognition and proper referral of these cases.” 6 Individuals with IDD also require attention and support. The IDD Needs Council of Harris County reports Without supports and services, people with mental disabilities have little or no opportunity to develop to reach their homeless youth ages 13-14, over 60 percent of them, also report having a serious mental illness, yet less than half of them received treatment.1 pg. 13 | MHMRA of Harris County fullest potential in order to become productive, employed, contributing members of our community. At MHMRA of Harris County, we continue to prepare to address the current and future challenges. We have hired hundreds of new employees and acquired new facility space to better serve our consumers and their families. We are also rebranding our identity to better reflect our mission, improve access for those in the community who need and qualify for our assistance, and address recent changes in law pertaining to the use of “Retardation”. You will read more about our current efforts in upcoming publications. Our commitment to provide the highest level of integrated mental health and IDD services to Harris County Residents remains strong. But, funding for mental health and IDD supports must be maintained and expanded, because our population continues to grow. These conditions are not a one-time life event. We need to sustain the supports and the services necessary over time. Failure to build upon the foundation we have established during these two fiscal years could have a devastating impact on individuals, loved ones, tax payers, and the community as a whole. The next step to make sure this does not occur is to heighten the understanding of the needs for these services and supports for the individuals with mental disabilities such that they can enjoy more fulfilling and participatory lives as part of our of our community. Thank you for taking the time to read this report. We hope you will join us and the army of advocates and dedicated providers in continuing to Build Brighter Possibilities for Harris County.