MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Hidalgo County leaders are focusing on assisting juveniles with behavioral mental health needs while in the justice system.
A comprehensive workshop took place in Mission to help educate officials on various topics that help for better outcomes.
Topics included mobile crisis outreach, court hearings, re-entry, and community corrections.
Leaders say the goal of this training is to help the youth and improve the justice system’s level of response.
The event took place at the Mission Event Center and was partnered by Hon. Judge Renee Rodriguez Betancourt 449th State Judicial District Court with Hidalgo County District Attorney Terry Palacios.
They say officials who participated were able to see models and maps that show how children and youth with behavioral health needs come into contact and operate through the juvenile justice system.
They say a big challenge is addressing mental health.
Officials say breaking the stigma is key because if you don’t talk about the mental health needs then it’s going to be impossible to get the proper help.
“There’s nothing wrong with having a mental health diagnosis it is something that so many people live with every day of their lives. They function properly they follow the law they have jobs when we don’t talk about it or when we try to avoid it that’s when the problems arise,” Judge Rodriguez-Betancourt said.
Materials and lessons were hosted by the Texas Judicial Commission on mental health.
Leaders with the workshop say working with parents is extremely important because it gives officials a better perspective on where the juvenile is coming from, how they dress, to even socio-economic class.
Providing parents with counseling services can also help with mental health needs.