Improving mental health in our community

13 May, 24

Dear Friends,

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to bring awareness to the importance of mental health. It’s a time to talk openly about why it matters, how it affects all of us, and why there shouldn’t be stigma around seeking the help you need. In Precinct One, we’ve taken steps to expand and improve services to individuals and families who are struggling with mental health, substance use disorders, and behavioral health crises by helping direct federal dollars to local agencies and programs that have the greatest impact.

After hearing from Harris County service providers struggling with an unprecedented need and strain on resources, we decided to take bold action by investing over $14 million in agencies that are doing the boots-on-the-ground work.

Over time, this investment will increase the behavioral health workforce in underserved communities, expand overdose prevention and treatment programs for people with substance use disorders, and improve behavioral healthcare services in schools and neighborhoods for youth and their families. Some of the work made possible by this investment includes:

These are just a few examples of what we’re doing at the county level to recognize and respond to the need for increased access to mental health resources. But you can play an important role in this, too, by taking a free Mental Health First Aid course, which will give you the skills needed to support a person who may be experiencing a crisis or developing a mental health issue. Visit The Harris Center website for information about Mental Health First Aid courses and other resources.

Several organizations in Harris County are ready to help you or someone you know in need of mental health services or emotional support, including the Harris Center, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Montrose Center, Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC), and Harris County Public Health. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call the Harris Center’s 24-hour Crisis Line at 713-970-7000. If you're outside Harris County, you can call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or chat at

Ultimately, everyone can play a role in improving mental health in their community. Call a friend who's been quiet lately, follow up with retired family members, and ask the young people in your life if they feel supported. Listen to others and listen to what your body is telling you about your own emotional well-being.

Together, we can break the stigma surrounding mental health and promote wellness for all.


Rodney Ellis