MHMRA of Harris County - Annual Report Fiscal 2013-2014 - Page 6

r ays o f h o p e o n t h e h o r i zo n M HMRA services and community initiatives are supported by dedicated clinical staff and direct service providers. As you can see by the number of individuals served identified in the following information, this is no small task. Although MHMRA of Harris County and other local community organizations provide essential mental healthcare and IDD supports, the past decade has been marked by the outcry for more vital supports as the population of Harris County continues to grow exponentially, and the cases of mental illness and IDD increase. In 2012, an estimated 19,300 children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance needed services from the public mental health system, yet 74 percent - 14,335 children - received none. Almost 69 percent of the 9,100 children referred to the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department reportedly had a diagnosable mental illness.3 In the same year, an estimated 69,800 adults with severe mental illness were unable to access treatment from the public or private mental health systems. The Harris County Jail was reportedly the largest mental health institution in the state, with 24.1 percent of the inmates experiencing severe mental illness.3 By the end of 2013, 3,059 people died by suicide across Texas.4 For individuals with IDD, the outlook was not better, especially for those with a dual diagnosis of IDD and a mental illness. The treatment and service options for these individuals were scarce to non-existent, as the number of professionals who could provide supports for them decreased over the years due to cuts in state funding. In the early months of Fiscal Year 2013, the outcry of families and advocates seemed to finally make a breakthrough in the years-long plea for more supports. And although the results would not be immediate, the 1115 Medicaid Waiver revealed rays of hope. With the goal of transforming the Medicaid-funded healthcare system through improvements in care outcomes, increased patient satisfaction and reduced costs, MHMRA of Harris County ultimately had 27 DSRIP projects approved to enhance and expand services for the people we serve, as part of the initial requirements of the 1115 Medicaid Waiver, which could potentially bring over $187 million over a five-year period. the outcry of families and advocates seemed to finally make a breakthrough This unprecedented process, which began in December 2011, also brought many questions. Payments for approved programs would be based on their value to the community, not the cost of operation. In addition, our Center would have to initially invest close to $3.5 million in order to draw new funds. MHMRA staff and other community experts evaluated these calculations and developed measures that could prove meaningful change,