On January 1, 2019, Judge Richard F. Cortez took office and established his agenda making mental health one of his priorities. Immediately after, he began the development of a mental health initiative that launched the creation of the Hidalgo County Mental Health Coalition.
"We have families dealing with mental illness and if we improve that moving forward, that is the definition of success. Together I see the power and passion of the Mental Health Coalition. That is one of the things that is important to me."
- Judge Richard F. Cortez
“The fact that establishing the Mental Health Coalition was one of Judge Cortez' priorities when he became Hidalgo County Judge shows that he clearly understands that mental health is critical to the overall health of our community.”
- Chris Ardis
“So many of us who struggle with mental illness, do it alone. Judge Cortez shined a light on mental health and made me and many like me "SEEN" for the first time. It is empowering when the community you belong to makes your health and well-being a priority. The feelings of helplessness, fear, and judgment are replaced by comfort, support, and acceptance.”