AUSTIN, Texas --
A new, $1-million state initiative is seeking to bolster mental health programs for military veterans.
Announced jointly Monday by Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus, the Texas Veterans Initiative is funded by the Health and Human Services Commission.
It will match local and private funds committed to expanding and evaluating community-based mental health programs for veterans and their relatives.
Perry, Dewhurst and Straus said in a statement that the funding "will focus on regional collaborations that address severe mental health needs that are not currently met, as prioritized by each community."
The pilot program will award funding through a competitive process, with decisions on successful proposals coming before March 1.
If the pilot succeeds, the Legislature could approve a more-permanent initiative next year.
Copyright The Associated Press