Mental health help available

In response to Vanessa Munoz’s letter to the editor on July 3, “More crisis help needed,” we at Tropical Texas Behavioral Health strongly disagree that the Rio Grande Valley lacks any programs that assist the community with mental health and suicide prevention.

Ms. Munoz notes, “There should be facilities ready to assist” those experiencing crisis — and there are. TTBH is one of 39 local mental health authorities in the state of Texas. We will serve more than 33,000 different people in the RGV this year, and we will serve more children for Health and Human Services than any other mental health authority in the state (including Houston, Dallas and San Antonio).

Further, we have Mobile Crisis Outreach Teams in four locations throughout the RGV. The TTBH MCOT provide crisis intervention and resolution services to any community member in crisis, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

We also have highly trained mental health officers assigned to TTBH by many of our law enforcement partners. They provide response in our local communities when needed and take over for local police involved in mental health situations when possible.

There will always be a need for more funding, so that organizations like TTBH can continue to help more people in the community. Education on mental health issues and available services, however, is free and abundant.

A simple Google search for “local mental health resources” can find you more than 16 organizations that provide mental health services in the Edinburg-McAllen area alone.

In just the past six months, TTBH staff have attended more than 235 mental health awareness and suicide prevention events in support of providing resources and better educating the community on mental health. Since last September, TTBH staff have held 41 mental health first aid and mental health awareness training events for schools and businesses, training more than 859 community members to use these important skills in crisis situations.

TTBH is recognized as a leader among Texas local mental health authorities for innovation and effectiveness. In fact, we recently were selected to serve as a regional training center in crisis intervention and suicide prevention for other local mental health authorities in Texas.

Tropical Texas Behavioral Health remains steadfast in our commitment to provide effective response to people throughout the Rio Grande Valley with a need for mental health services and support in times of crisis.

But, suicide remains the 11th leading cause of death among Texans and the second leading cause of death among youth ages 10-24.

We all must do better to lower these numbers.

Ms. Munoz, I’m sorry you had difficulty finding support when you needed it, but don’t give up. Help is available throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

W. Terry Crocker CEO, Tropical Texas Behavioral Health Edinburg

Military should honor promise

In my way of thinking it is not fair to promise undocumented people who serve in our armed forces citizenship and then deport them to their country of origin. They were told they’d get citizenship, and that did not come through.

We should respect a deal when a deal like that is made. These people should be brought back to the country they served.

Any man or woman eligible to be in the armed forces should be given a crash course on the English language and, after two years of armed forces service, they should receive their American citizenship.

We need to stand behind a deal that we made, so people can see we stand behind our word.

Also, here’s an idea: If there are 150,000 undocumented people in Texas detention and there are 50 states, divide them by 50 and fly 3,000 people to each state. Use the money from foreign aid to their home country to pay for it.

Texas should not have to bear the brunt of all the cost.

Dorance “Otto” Hofland, San Juan

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