It is hard to believe this issue marks one year since the beginning of TMC Pulse. Over the past year, we have tried to really bring attention to those people who have made the Texas Medical Center the incredible place that it is. We look forward to continuing to tell those stories as this campus grows in new and exciting ways.
May is a particularly important month because it is observed as Mental Health Awareness Month. The Texas Medical Association reports more than 4.3 million individuals—1.2 million of them children—live with a mental health disorder in the state of Texas. That’s a considerable demand for mental health care and resources, many of which are not readily available due to insufficient funding. It is critical that these needs be addressed, not only in Texas—a state that has consistently ranked below most others in dollars per capita allocated for mental health services—but across the country.
This month’s Pulse features a story about how our own local hospitals are attempting to shoulder a burden too large for any single institution to manage alone. We are a community that is looked to as a leader in health care, and that is every bit as true when it comes to mental health. Every day across our campus, individuals seek treatment for serious mental illnesses—PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and eating disorders, among others. We have the opportunity together to do more than treat these patients who come to our hospitals. We must also be willing to engage in those difficult conversations about funding, help destigmatize these disorders, and actively collaborate to improve the mental and physical health of our city.