COLORADO COUNTY– Colorado County Judge Ty Prause has called a meeting of the newly formed Behavioral Health Task Force for Jan. 14, 2021.
The Task Force, comprised of approximately 50 individuals representing providers, community leaders, law-enforcement, first responders, school districts, the local hospital, the Cities and County, will focus on the creation, development and expansion of needed services for the full behavioral health spectrum including mental health disorders, developmental disorders and substance use disorders.
According to the Mental Health Association of America, Texas ranks 50 out of 51 in citizens having access to needed mental health related services (DC being 51). And the fact is that both the federal and state governments have all continued to grossly under fund this particular arena of health. For Colorado County, issues such as lack of sufficient number of mental health specific services, transportation of mental health patients, and the lack of inpatient beds available throughout the state place an enormous responsibility upon non-mental health personnel such as law-enforcement, first responders, and the local med/surg Columbus Community Hospital.
The Behavioral Health Task Force is a grassroots effort and will include such initiatives as obtaining a comprehensive Mental Health Needs Assessment, developing an all-inclusive Behavioral Health Community Resource Directory and obtaining funding through corporate, state and federal grants, family foundations, and religious and university funded programs. The Task Force is being organized and chaired by Dr. Mazie Leftwich, a retired Christian Counselor and United Methodist Minister living in Colorado County. Dr. Leftwich, with a Masters of Social Work (MSW) and a Doctorate in Psychology (PsyD), was Founder and Director of a Behavioral Health Clinic in Fort Bend County for 40 years, and was very active in that community and many of its’ nonprofit health and human services organizations, including organizing and chairing several needed health and community initiatives. She has been active in the Colorado County community since 2008, and has a special love for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Champions Valley.