Texas Department of State Health Services

Texas Department of State Health Services is a state agency of Texas. The department was created by House Bill 2292 of the 78th Texas Legislature in 2003 through the merging of four state agencies: the Texas Department of Health, Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Texas Health Care Information Council, and Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. The department provides state-operated health care services, including hospitals, health centers, and health agencies. The agency is headquartered at the Central Campus at 1100 West 49th Street in Austin. The DSHS Council governs the department.

The agency's Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division, along with Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University coordinate the Texas School Survey, a program consisting of two surveys on drug and alcohol abuse, an annual one done at the local school-district level and a biennial statewide survey. The statewide survey, called the Texas School Survey of Substance Use, is the largest survey of its kind to be conducted in the United States and administered to over 100,000 public school students between grades 7-12.

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    Those services which the community will most readily pay for, it is most disagreeable to render.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    Mens sana in men’s sauna, in the flush
    Of health and toilets, private and corporal glee,
    Anthony Hecht (b. 1923)

    During the cattle drives, Texas cowboy music came into national significance. Its practical purpose is well known—it was used primarily to keep the herds quiet at night, for often a ballad sung loudly and continuously enough might prevent a stampede. However, the cowboy also sang because he liked to sing.... In this music of the range and trail is “the grayness of the prairies, the mournful minor note of a Texas norther, and a rhythm that fits the gait of the cowboy’s pony.”
    —Administration in the State of Texa, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)

    ... the Department of Justice is committed to asking one central question of everything we do: What is the right thing to do? Now that can produce debate, and I want it to be spirited debate. I want the lawyers of America to be able to call me and tell me: Janet, have you lost your mind?
    Janet Wood Reno (b. 1938)

    Such writing is a sort of mental masturbation.... I don’t mean that he is indecent but viciously soliciting his own ideas into a state which is neither poetry nor anything else but a Bedlam vision produced by raw pork and opium.
    George Gordon Noel Byron (1788–1824)