Texas to Build $34 Million Behavioral Health Campus in Uvalde After School Shooting

Texas to build $34M behavioral health campus in Uvalde to address mental health needs after tragic school shooting. Facility to provide crisis care, outpatient programs, and youth services.

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Olalekan Adigun
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Texas to Build $34 Million Behavioral Health Campus in Uvalde After School Shooting

Texas to Build $34 Million Behavioral Health Campus in Uvalde After School Shooting

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the construction of a $34 million behavioral health campus in Uvalde, Texas, to provide on-site care for children and adults experiencing mental health crises in Uvalde and the surrounding 32 counties. The campus, funded by the Texas legislature, will feature a regional behavioral health care building with a 24/7 crisis stabilization unit, outpatient programs, and a youth wing with 16 beds.

The decision to build the campus comes in response to the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24, 2022, where a gunman killed 19 children and 2 adults. The facility, expected to open in 2025, will be operated by Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Centers under a contract with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Why this matters: The Uvalde school shooting emphasized the need for improved mental health resources and support in the community. The new behavioral health campus aims to address this need by providing accessible care and crisis intervention services to children and adults in the region.

In addition to the behavioral health campus, the state has allocated $5 million for a resiliency center to meet the community's mental health needs and $1.2 million for school counseling and crisis intervention programs. However, a U.S. Justice Department report found systemic failures and a lack of resources for trauma care in the response to the shooting, with government leaders providing misleading and inaccurate information.

Uvalde interim Mayor Everardo Zamora acknowledged the failures of law enforcement during the incident, stating that the Uvalde Police Department's policies were outdated and the department lacked proper training and equipment to protect the community. Zamora said the new police chief, Homer Delgado, is currently reviewing the department's personnel, procedures, and training to address these issues.

The behavioral health campus will serve as a 24/7 diversion center for mental health crises in a 32-county area. "This investment in Uvalde and the surrounding region is an essential step in our ongoing efforts to provide the community with the resources and support it needs to heal," Governor Abbott said in a statement. The facility is expected to open its doors in the summer of 2025, bringing much-needed mental health resources to the community still coping with the aftermath of the tragic school shooting.

Key Takeaways

  • Texas to build $34M behavioral health campus in Uvalde by 2025.
  • Campus to provide crisis care, outpatient programs, and youth services.
  • Facility aims to address mental health needs after Uvalde school shooting.
  • State allocates $5M for a resiliency center and $1.2M for school counseling.
  • Uvalde mayor acknowledges law enforcement failures in shooting response.