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Texas health officials give funding for psychiatric care

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas health officials are providing funding to mental health facilities as part of a $300 million endeavor to revamp the state’s crumbling psychiatric hospital system.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced Monday it’s releasing the first round of funding that lawmakers approved last year to improve the 10 state hospitals in the system.

The first disbursement of money is about $48 million. More than $15 million of that will go toward creating a master plan to replace the 160-year-old Austin State Hospital, which has struggled with severe nursing shortages and policy violations on restraining patients.

The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston will receive about $6 million of the first disbursement to build a new 300-bed psychiatric hospital next to the university-run Harris County Psychiatric Center.

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