Texas children are increasingly depressed or suicidal. They need help.

Expanding mental health care for Texas children became a rallying cry among Republican politicians in the days after the Uvalde school shooting, and in late June they made it part of their plan to keep Texas school children safe.

Unfortunately, this is a small part.

Only $10.5 million of the $105 million school safety plan announced by Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is earmarked for children’s mental health this year, with the rest earmarked for the fortifications of school security, including $50 million to purchase bulletproof shields for police officers.

Investing more in children’s mental health could help prevent school shootings while helping improve the lives of countless Texas children. In many cases of school shootings, the perpetrators are young men who were bullied, isolated, or showed signs of antisocial behavior that could have been resolved with prior mental health intervention. The profile of the 18-year-old shooter at Uvalde would have ticked all of those boxes.

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