Texas has a serious mental health problem. Far too often, and far too expensively, we’re dealing with it through our criminal justice system and other systems poorly designed to help and support people with mental health challenges.
Texas should prohibit all forms of tobacco use on the grounds and campuses of all state agencies, including state institutions of higher education, and we should do everything possible to prevent kids from starting to smoke.
Physical health and mental health are inextricably bound together. But we can easily lose sight of how poorly and infrequently this basic truth is reflected in the systems we’ve developed to care for ourselves and one another.
State lawmakers must make restructuring and replacing Texas' outdated mental health hospital system a top priority.
Tobacco prevention is good health policy and good fiscal policy. So it's troubling that the Texas Senate’s budget proposal would reduce tobacco prevention funding by over 30 percent.