Boys and Girls Country of Houston Receives Hogg Foundation Grant to Fund Children’s Mental Health Training for Houston Adults
August 3, 2011
HOUSTON – Boys and Girls Country of Houston, Inc., a residential home for children ages 5 to 18, has received one of four grants awarded in Houston to fund children’s mental health training programs for adults who work with children and youth in the Houston area but aren’t mental health professionals.
Boys and Girls Country will use a nationally recognized model to train the home’s 50 program managers and direct care staff. The home houses up to 88 children and adolescents who live in groups of eight in cottages. “Teaching parents” reside with the children, build relationships with them, teach them life skills, and meet their daily needs.
While half the children are on medication for a diagnosed mental illness, program managers and teaching parents have little or no training in mental health. With a $12,671 grant from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, the home’s staff will learn about different kinds of mental illness and how to recognize them, psychotropic medications and how they affect children, and tools and strategies to help children achieve wellness and success. The home also will conduct sessions for its young residents on mental health and wellness.
“Our children come from homes that have been severely impacted by generations of dysfunction, abuse, poverty, mental and physical illness, substance abuse and addiction, and lack of education,” said Lou Palma, the home’s executive director. “Through this training, our staff will learn about many of the mental illnesses our children are coping with, what healthy child development looks like, and how to promote mental health in all children.”
The Hogg Foundation and St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities awarded the Ima Hogg Community Education Grants to pay for training for people who work with hundreds of children and youth of all ages, including those who live in Houston’s neediest neighborhoods. The training will enable participants to recognize the signs of mental illness in children, respond appropriately, and help families locate services in the community.
The grants are in honor of Miss Ima Hogg, a beloved and influential Houston philanthropist who supported mental health, music and the arts, education, and other causes in Houston and across Texas. In 1963 she directed the foundation to periodically fund children’s mental health training for adults in Houston and Harris County.
Other recipients include Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston – Houston, NAMI Metropolitan Houston and NAMI West Houston, and Texas Association for Infant Mental Health.
The Hogg Foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Governor James S. Hogg, and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. The foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by funding mental health services, policy analysis, research, and public education.
Through research-informed grantmaking to Texas nonprofits, St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities, a separate component of St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System, improves community health and reduces health disparities. Our Center for Community-Based Research is dedicated to community-based participatory research practices that foster informed action, collaboration and empowerment for the medically underserved and other vulnerable populations.