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Posted on: May 31, 2023

Kaufman County Behavioral Health Leadership Board Meets

mental health Matters

Kaufman County, TX - The Kaufman County Behavioral Health Leadership Board, led by Criminal Court at Law #2 Judge Bobby Rich, was established in March with the aim of providing recommendations and guidance to various entities and stakeholders. Their primary goal is to enhance access to care services and address the mental health needs of individuals in Kaufman County. Currently, the board convenes once a month at Terrell State Hospital to discuss action plans and prioritize mental health initiatives within the county.

One specific action plan, spearheaded by Lieutenant Tracy West from the Kaufman County Sheriff's Department and Officer Nicole Phillips from the Forney Police Department, focuses on expanding pre-arrest diversion options for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Recognizing that a significant number of incarcerated individuals struggle with mental health, the Kaufman County Bridge Program has extended its services to support this process.

Additionally, Dr. Mark Messer, Terrell State Hospital Superintendent, will be leading a sub-committee dedicated to raising awareness and promoting education throughout the county. By increasing discussions surrounding mental health, the goal is to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, as it remains one of the primary reasons why individuals refrain from seeking necessary mental health care.

To access mental health resources, individuals can visit the Mental Health webpage on the official Kaufman County website HERE. Furthermore, for direct assistance, Jennifer Russell, the Mental Health Coordinator at the Kaufman County Justice Center, can be reached at 469-376-4512 or via email at

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