Mass shootings continue to rise and the lack of mental health providers and resources in underserved communities

Published February 21, 2023
Prioritizing mental health should have been the main topic at The Capitol. The safety of our children in schools, colleges, universities - especially public space is becoming questionable to one's safety.

Feb. 21, 2023 / PRZen / PLANO, Texas -- Mindcare Today founder, Margie Barilla and CEO, Andrei Harris continue to attend 88th Texas Legislature and various organization events networking with other advocates on mental health, addiction treatment, and foster care reform priorities from all over the State of Texas. Mindcare Today took on the social responsibility to continue with educational and awareness summits, events, and conferences within cities, county, and nationwide. Mindcare Today will be collaborating with law enforcement agencies to provide free "Active Shooter Awareness Classes" at all 54 events in 35 states.

"It's heart wrenching being on the provider side knowing the fifteen hospitals I recently closed was an immediate solution to the lack of mental health providers Texas communities are in dire need for kids ages 5 to 17 - especially in two areas like Uvalde and El Paso that have experienced mass shootings. I founded the organization because continuity of care is important once stabilization is provided. My concern was an organization required to meet regulatory costs against the margins to continue serving the entire State of Texas communities is challenging - especially when insurance companies reimburse when they want to and reimburse providers pennies. Knowing their quarterly financial data clearly shows their significant profit margin while providers are in the forefront- how much of that includes reimbursements not sent to providers? In this healthcare space, had I known what I know now would have definitely prayed even more before opening our first door in 2019 - serving over 33,000 clients. Taxpayer dollars are being mismanaged, some state representatives campaigns have been funded by the same companies that are not paying providers. Transparency is key to taxpayers. The opportunity to fix our broken mental health system is available - as a constituent it's time those that are not going to take immediate action and convert to a solution needs to resign with those that are willing to take on the responsibility and provide immediate solutions," says Margie Barilla.

Texas still ranks dangerously low on access to mental health services. According to Mental Health America, Texas ranks 51st in access to mental health care, after the other 49 states and the District of Columbia. As a mental health provider, we know firsthand how this leaves our local police departments as a primary safety net mental health provider for too many Texans. People living with mental health conditions need access to mental health services, and our police need to be able to better focus on public safety. Children, students, and adults - especially our own frontline workers – are facing unprecedented mental health challenges that were only heightened by the pandemic.

We call on Legislators to make mental health access a top priority, requiring insurance companies to submit a monthly provider outstanding reimbursement reports with findings why and when claims have been processed or denied to the Department of Insurance, and federal investigation as to any public elected official receiving contributions creating accountability of the open meeting act. Our workforce has families and financial responsibilities too. You have to take care of your team, so your team can out serve the community.

The numbers continue to rise with the coalition of the shooter suffering from mental illness in 2019 - 417 mass shootings, 2020 - 610 mass shootings, 2021 - 690 mass shootings, 2022 - 647 mass shootings, and 2023 - 83 already have occurred in the U.S., according to the Gun Violence Archive.

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