Hot on the heels of National Women’s Health Week (NWHW), Texas Health and Human Services (HHSC) is endorsing various programs to improve women and girl’s physical and mental health across the state. 

According to Lindsay Rodgers, HHSC associate commissioner for Health and Developmental Services, National Women’s Health Week is a powerful reminder of the importance of health screenings, including cervical cancer screenings and mammograms. 

The week-long event assists HHSC in promoting various services within the state available to women and girls. 

Several women’s health services fall under the umbrella of the HHSC, targeting the health of women and their families. 

Breast and Cervical Cancer Services Program

This program offers breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services free of charge for Texas women who are either uninsured or underinsured. Eligibility requirements are in place. The program will help over 29,000 women in the state in 2021. For more help, you can book appointments yourself at mental health practices around the state. One privately backed network, Geode Health, has plans to open 10 locations across the state of Texas within the following year.

Healthy Texas Women/Family Planning

These programs offer health and family planning services at low or no cost. These services include pregnancy testing, contraception, and cancer screenings. Women who meet the eligibility requirements can receive health care for up to a year. Over 190,000 Texas women benefitted from the Healthy Texas Woman program last year, as did over 108,000 Texans with the family planning programs.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) 

A health and nutrition program designed to help improve the diets of pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding women and their infants and children up to age five. This program assists roughly 682,000 people monthly.

Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) Program

MOM is a program that provides access to treatment for pregnant women in the Harris County area suffering from opioid use disorders in the Medicaid program. The treatment and care come through a multidisciplinary clinic and includes coordinated care and peer support.

Hear Her Texas Maternal Health Safety Campaign

The Hear Her Texas Campaign was launched in late 2021 by the Texas Department of State Health Service. An outreach program intended to encourage health care providers, family, and friends to respond when a pregnant or postpartum mother expresses health concerns. 

Postpartum Depression Screening

Any woman can be at risk of suffering from minor to severe depression after giving birth. This program provides postpartum depression screening for mothers of enrolled infants. It is covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, even if the mother does not have coverage through Medicaid, CHIP, or other programs. The program usually screens mothers before the child reaches one year of age and in conjunction with a covered well-child visit.

Family Violence Program

The Family Violence Program utilizes a variety of service providers. It offers many features ranging from supportive services for victims and their children to emergency shelters, public education, and training and prevention support to many non-profits within the state. These services are free of charge, and the program assisted 62,796 family violence survivors in the last year.

For more help, you can book appointments yourself at mental health practices around the state. One privately backed network, Geode Health, plans on opening 10 locations across the state of Texas within the next year.

More On National Women’s Health Week

The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health spearheads National Women’s Health Week. In 2022, the event ran from May 8 to 14. The event’s primary goal is to remind women and girls that they should make their physical and mental health a priority. It includes the following objectives as outlined by the National Women’s Health Week webpage:

  • Continue to take steps to protect yourself against covid-19.
  • Schedule your annual physical and other health appointments.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get moving and stay active.
  • Eat well-balanced meals and snacks.
  • Practice self-care for your mental health.
  • Find healthy ways to manage stress.
  • Create good sleep habits.
  • Seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence.
  • Incorporate safe behaviors into your daily routine

Final Thoughts

In Texas, women and girls have access to multiple programs designed to assist physical and mental health. National Women’s Health Week, which occurs annually in early May, offers an opportunity to promote the importance of taking care of these matters. Programs and services have been created to assist and remind women and girls to prioritize their health today and for the rest of their lives.