County awards contract for Mental Health Needs Assessment

By Megan Wehring 

HAYS COUNTY — Hays County is making progress in addressing the area’s mental health needs. 

On March 22, the Hays County Commissioners Court unanimously approved awarding a contract to the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute for the Hays County Mental Health Needs Assessment. This study will determine the extent of mental health services that are needed in the county. 

The Crescendo Consulting Group and Osornio Torres Industries, LLC, also submitted proposals for this contract but ultimately, the county felt that Meadows was the better qualified. 

“I think the overall view on how to conduct the assessment and the previous work the Meadows Center has done in both our area and throughout the state, and really throughout the nation, were pretty substantial,” said commissioner Walt Smith. “I’m very impressed by the team that they put together on this and I can’t wait for it to get started.”

After discovering that a mental health facility or multiple facilities is essential, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra assembled a Mental Health Task Force over a year ago. The Needs Assessment was later approved for funding, which would not exceed $250,000, in November 2021. 

The county will collaborate and welcome input from surrounding mental health centers: Austin Oaks Hospital, Texas State University, Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and Bluebonnet Trails Community Services.

“Our ultimate goal is to create a holistic Center for Mental Wellness, Education and Research for the residents of Hays County and today, we’ve taken the next step,” Becerra said in a news release.

County staff and general counsel will negotiate the contract to bring it back to the commissioners court for final approval. 

Comment on this Article

About Author

Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

Comments are closed.