AUSTIN, Texas – Texas is home to more than 4.3 million adults with some form of mental illness. Many of them –insured and uninsured alike—aren’t able to get the help they need due to a decline in services and programs, according to the Texas Medical Association. To address this critical need, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health has released a comprehensive guidebook that demystifies Texas’ complex maze of mental health systems and services.

The 358-page book, “Understanding Mental Health Systems and Services in Texas,” was created as a research tool for the general audience—particularly policymakers, nonprofits and advocacy groups. The goal, in large part, is to encourage these groups to advocate increased state funding – and ultimately lift Texas up from the bottom rung of the national mental health report card.

Written in a clear, concise format, the book is designed to give readers a basic understanding of how behavioral health services are provided, the populations that are served, and the challenges of meeting the growing and often unmet needs of Texans with mental health or substance use conditions.

Although many states across the nation offer similar guidebooks, this is the first of its kind that provides complete overviews of all services, resources and systems across the state. Free and accessible to the public online, the book is also designed to help people with mental health conditions and family caregivers navigate the state’s complex patchwork of programs and services.

This resource is a part of the Hogg Foundation’s ongoing mission to contribute to the Hogg family’s legacy of public service and dedication to improving mental health in Texas. The foundation is part of UT Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.

Authors include Jemila Lea, J.D., a policy fellow at the Hogg Foundation, and three UT Austin graduate research assistants: Amanda Ackerman, Stephanie Brosig, and Ted Wilson.

The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by supporting mental health services, policy analysis, research and public education. The foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.