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With a lack of help and resources, Texas faces a mental health crisis

Posted at 6:25 AM, Jan 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-17 07:25:35-05

WACO, Texas — “People want help but there’s just not enough help there. There’s just not enough help to give help to the people that want or need it,” therapist Katie Chadwell said.

It's estimated more than one million Texans suffer from some type of mental illness. But the census bureau ranks Texas 49 out of 50 when it comes to overall access to mental health care.

Child and Adolescent therapist Katie Chadwell talked about what may be the cause of this downwards trend.

“For so many years mental health has been so stigmatized both with children and adults. And we’re finally starting to come around and realize that this is something that needs to be talked about, it’s something that needs to be addressed,” Chadwell said.

Central Texas is faced with its own set of mental health trends.

“We see a lot of PTSD, we see a lot of depression and we see a lot of anxiety. For children this can definitely present as aggression and defiance and things like that,” Chadwell said.

Many people don’t seek help when dealing with mental health issues out of the fear of upsetting others.

“They’re afraid to tell us because they don’t want to go to the hospital, they don’t want to be hospitalized, they don’t want to be judged, they don’t want to be told they’re being dramatic and I think adults carry a lot of the same fears,” Chadwell said.

“They don’t want people to invalidate what they’re going through and I think they’re also afraid that they’re just gonna get locked up and have the key thrown away."

With it being the start of the new year, experts are hopeful these patterns will start to change.

“So it’s not just breaking the stigma, it's also increasing the resources and accessibility to mental health help that people need,” Chadwell said.