Mental Health Guide

Navigating mental health systems and services in Texas can be daunting, even for advocates and policymakers. The Hogg Foundation prepares a new edition of the Mental Health Guide to coincide with each Texas legislative session.


“Then, for the first time, I understood why he had always espoused the cause of the common people, the need of battling for the weak against the strong, the necessity of free education for all, if a democracy is to survive.” — Will Hogg

Systems and Services in Texas

Meeting the mental health care needs of Texans requires critical policy analysis and decision-making. The maze of behavioral health services is complex, making it difficult to understand and difficult to improve.

This comprehensive resource is designed to help advocates, policy makers, families and individuals prepare for and navigate mental health systems and services in Texas.


Insufficient access to mental health treatment, supports and services remains one of the most pressing policy issues in Texas. This guide provides an overview of the behavioral health care delivery system and the services provided under various state agencies that are funded in full or in part with state appropriations. Read more

National Context

A national paradigm shift is underway to transform behavioral health delivery systems with an increased focus on recovery, wellness and self-directed care. This section focuses on select bills and issues at the national level that have a direct impact on systems and services in Texas. Read more

The Texas Environment

The past legislative session yielded both successes and lost opportunities for individuals with mental health and substance use conditions. In this section, important areas of Texas behavioral health systems are covered. Read more

Public Behavioral Health Services in Texas

This section includes the new Texas Health and Human Services organizational structure and program alignment in place as of October 1, 2016. It also includes an overview of other state agencies and programs that provide behavioral health services. Read more


This section includes a list of figures, acronyms, additional resources, advisory committees, and a glossary of commonly used behavioral health terms. Download

Public Policy at the Hogg Foundation

We partner with advocates and policy makers to inform change across the system.

Policy Briefs

An archive of our policy priorities, recommendations and evaluations related to mental health in Texas.

85th Legislative Session Summary

Bills passed addressed a wide range of behavioral health needs for Texans.