Mental Health Policy Project GrantsRecognizing the critical role that policy work can have in improving mental health in Texas, the Hogg Foundation in 2008 began awarding grants for policy projects that address timely, meaningful mental health policy issues in Texas.
Projects must tackle important issues that are likely to lead to improvements in mental health policies affecting Texas residents. The foundation also considers the extent to which projects address diversity or health disparity issues and involve mental health consumers and their families.
Policy projects funded by the Hogg Foundation have garnered the attention of policy makers at the state and national levels, resulting in positive changes in mental health policies affecting people with mental health conditions in Texas.
- Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc. ($133,720) – To address the need for improved delivery of trauma-informed services to the approximately 40,000 children who are victims of sexual abuse, Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas will facilitate strategic meetings and collaboration among key agencies, stakeholders and policymakers.
- Community Healthcore ($77,190) – Community Healthcore will bring together peers and family members to form the Peer Policy Consortium. Through policy crafted by the Consortium, the principles, mission and values of trauma-informed care will shape the development of a crisis system of care that promotes person-centered services and supports, while reducing the need for coercive care.
- Easter Seals Central Texas ($151, 990) – Easter Seals Central Texas, in partnership with the University of Texas Center for Disabilities Study, will provide recommendations to state leaders on how best to invest current and future state general revenue funds into housing initiatives for those experiencing mental illness. Additionally, Easter Seals Central Texas will advocate for amendments to the Texas Government Code that will promote the successful integration of individuals with disabilities.
- United Ways of Texas ($57,400) – Despite the significant community resources invested in improving overall health outcomes for children and communities, there are no standard outcomes metrics used by agencies to measure performance that allow policy makers to gain an understanding of which interventions, services and community health strategies are most effective. To address this, United Ways of Texas in partnership with Texans Care for Children will develop a set of shared children’s mental health outcomes that can be utilized by policy makers throughout the state.
- DePelchin Children's Center ($86,730) - DePelchin Children's Center will perform a study to assess Step-Down Care, a pilot residential program designed to promote crisis stabilization and avoid costly psychiatric hospitalization of children throughout Texas. DePelchin will also produce a policy brief and recommendations for changes to the Texas Medicaid program to include Step-Down Care as a reimbursable service.
- Mental Health America (MHA) of Greater Dallas ($121,730) - The proliferation of boarding homes in Texas has made sensible regulation of these facilities a growing priority for local residents, especially those with family members living in such homes. MHA of Greater Dallas has been successful in working for the implementation of guidelines in Dallas. With these grant funds, they will provide technical assistance to surrounding counties for drafting new ordinances. MHA of Greater Dallas will also develop a stand-alone website as a resource for communities interested in pursuing boarding home regulation.
- Mental Health America (MHA) of Greater Houston ($51,520) - At least five percent of children have a serious emotional disturbance that results in significant functional impairments that can affect both home and school activities, and many schools have struggled to meet the needs of these students. MHA of Greater Houston will receive funding for the second year of its School Behavioral Health Initiative, which convened a stakeholder group to develop recommendations to improve the prevention, identification and treatment of behavioral health issues among public school students. MHA of Greater Houston will provide technical and implementation assistance to school districts that agree to adopt the consensus recommendations.
- Texas CASA ($185,000) - There is a pressing need to improve mental health outcomes for children in the Texas foster care system. Texas CASA will use this grant to increase its mental health expertise, develop evidence-based policy recommendations regarding mental health issues for children in foster care and create effective advocacy for those changes.
- Texas Fair Defense Project ($52,640) - In the adult criminal justice system, the use of holistic mental health defense teams - multidisciplinary defense teams that include social workers and lawyers with experience representing offenders with mental health conditions - has been shown to reduce recidivism rates. The Texas Fair Defense Project will promote the use of these defense teams to represent juveniles with mental health conditions who are facing criminal charges. They will also work with local jurisdictions to develop new programs to provide holistic defense representation to juveniles.
- University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) ($159,150) - Serious mental illness among people who are homeless can significantly complicate efforts to aid them. UNTHSC will investigate, advocate and raise awareness about local, state and federal policies that often appear to be misinterpreted and misapplied to the detriment of individuals who are homeless and have co-occurring conditions. The project will promote policy reform in four key areas: communication gaps, lack of integrated policies, mental health disparities and patient rights.
- Corporation for Supportive Housing ($140,000) - To assess the state’s Medicaid plan and recommend policy changes that would enable Texas to obtain federal funding for supportive housing programs and services for people facing the dual challenge of homelessness and mental illness.
- Texas Impact ($130,350) - To educate faith leaders, faith communities and policy makers about the issue of solitary confinement and its mental health implications, and lead efforts to advocate for changes in state policies.
- Texans Care for Children ($86,467) - To bring together key leaders, stakeholders and experts to develop a plan and recommend policies for providing leadership, coordination and resources at the state level to support Texas schools in implementing positive behavior support strategies and practices.
- EveryChild, Inc. ($51,200) - To research positive behavior support strategies for children and adults with intellectual disabilities or mental illness in other states, issue policy papers on effective strategies, convene stakeholders to discuss what strategies might work in Texas, and recommend policy changes to support this approach statewide.
- Blueprint for coordinating Bexar County’s mental health system, Bexar County Commissioners Court ($162,854)
- State policies affecting children with dual diagnoses of developmental disabilities and mental illness, EveryChild, Inc. ($112,422)
- Updating the Texas Mental Health Code, Texas Appleseed ($90,861)
- Advocacy council of youth with mental illness in the juvenile justice system, Texas Network of Youth Services ($80,478)
- Boarding home regulations, Mental Health America of Texas ($96,769)
- Public services for young people with mental illness transitioning to adulthood, Texas Network of Youth Services ($77,780)
- Loss of public benefits after employment, Advocates of Abilene, Inc. (See video and booklet.) ($60,799)
- Medicaid funding for mental health services, Mental Health Policy Analysis Collaborative ($30,000)
- Texas child care licensing standards, Texas Association for Infant Mental Health ($93,168)
- Transformation of regional behavioral health system, Harris County Healthcare Alliance ($87,874)
- Mental health needs of prison exonerees, Mental Health Policy Initiative for Texas Exonerees at the University of Texas at Arlington ($80,990)
- Youths of color in juvenile justice systems, Southwest Key Programs, Inc. ($76,570)
- Emergency psychiatric treatment at Austin area hospitals, Advocacy, Inc. ($67,963)
- Lack of mental health care in immigration detention facilities, Texas Appleseed ($50,000)
- June 2009: New State Laws Provide Mental Health Care for Exonerees
- June 2009: Detainees With Mental Illness: A Growing Challenge for Immigration Courts
Program Officer Colleen Horton, (512) 471-2988