The region of Big Bend has one psychiatrist, Dr. Stuart Crane, but this situation isn’t a rare one in the state.
Texas is facing a critical shortage of mental heath care workers; 207 out of 254 counties qualify as “Health Professional Shortage Areas,” which means they have a ratio of 30,000 people in the population per one psychiatrist.
HB 1023, authored by State Rep. Cindy Burkett and passed in the 2013 Texas legislative session, called for a report on the reasons behind the continuing crisis and recommendations on how to move forward.
For mental health workers currently working in the field, changes can’t come soon enough. Also interviewed: Department of State Health Services press officer Christine Mann, and Permian Basin Community Center‘s Hortensia Garcia and Mark Davis.