The question for Galveston County leaders is not whether taxpayers can afford to establish and operate a mental health court, but whether they can afford not to.

At issue initially is $600,000. That’s the amount Wayne Mallia, a former district court judge hired to establish a mental health court, estimates the startup costs to be.

Michael A. Smith: 409-683-5206;

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Wayne Holt

Amen and amen. As in so many other facets of today's America, it is well past time to recognize the old ways of dealing with issues has not worked for quite a while. We must adapt, and adopt fresh thinking that serves all of us, both those needing mental care and those ostensibly who do not.

The greatest challenge to developing and sustaining a resource like this court is not finding the funding. It is in expanding our ability to conceive of alternate methods that actually work. I am constantly amazed how often we accept broken social structures because "we've always done it that way."

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