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Texas libraries work to bridge state’s mental health services gap


Residents of Bastrop County work at the Smithville Public Library in Smithville, Texas on Mar. 11, 2024. People work on computers, make phone calls and talk with each other in the main seating area of the library.

Why libraries?

Britany Flores listens while her patron Jalen speaks to her in the Smithville Public Library in Smithville, Texas on Mar. 11, 2024. Flores has a number of patrons that she sees as part of program where she is promoting mental health.

Jalen speaks with Britany Flores in the Smithville Public Library in Smithville, Texas on Mar. 11, 2024. Jalen is one of Flores’ patrons and she meets with Flores for some help and guidance when she needs.

The community anchor

Pocket hearts sit in a heart tray in the Smithville Public Library in Smithville, Texas on Mar. 11, 2024. During the month os January, the Smithville Public Library had an initiative for self care where they gave away these hearts for people to keep in their pockets. Whenever you reach into your pocket and feel the heart, you are reminded take care of yourself and practice self care, and when you come across someone who may need the heart, you can pass it along to them.


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