75 Years and Counting...
At the heart of the foundation’s 75th anniversary celebration is a new website that explores the history of the foundation and its role in the formation of the modern mental health infrastructure in Texas.
The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health was established in 1940 by the children of Texas Governor James Hogg. The original $2.5 million endowment came from the estate of Will C. Hogg, the eldest of the Hogg children. Upon his death in 1930, his sister Ima and his brother Mike established the Hogg Foundation for Mental Hygiene (the organization’s original name) in his memory at The University of Texas at Austin.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the foundation, we’ve launched a new website to document and reflect upon its history. At the core of that website is a new academic history of the foundation, Circuit Riders for Mental Health: The Hogg Foundation and the Transformation of Mental Health in Texas, written by Texas A&M historian William S. Bush.
Dr. Bush’s book, which is being published by Texas A&M University Press, is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2016.
The book and website will tell the story of the Hoggs’ historic contributions in raising public awareness of mental health and illness, reforming poor conditions in state hospitals and institutions, professionalizing mental health services, funding and developing innovative community-based programs, pioneering a model for student counseling services at colleges and universities, providing access to mental health services to underserved populations across Texas, and leading in the drafting of landmark legislation including the state’s first Mental Health Code (1957) and Mental Health and Mental Retardation agency (1965).
The book and website will also tell the stories of the visionary men and women who pushed relentlessly to improve mental health for the people of Texas, led by Ima Hogg, the wealthy philanthropist who chose to devote a large endowment to the cause of mental health, and Robert Lee Sutherland, a public intellectual and statesman who parlayed the Foundation’s modest endowment into an astounding level of influence over state policy, professional practice, and social thought and culture.
The book and website will also take readers into cities and towns across Texas where mental health stood at the center of a host of social and cultural changes in the post-World War II era, as well as the legislative conference rooms where key decisions were made about mental health policy. Readers will learn that the Hogg Foundation played a significant role in the success of community mental health programs across the state in places such as the South Texas Valley, East Austin, and Houston’s Fifth Ward.