Foundationís Special Mental Health Services Initiative Wraps Up
September 1, 2006
In April 2005, the foundation awarded $4.6 million in one-time grants to 50 agencies across Texas as part of a special initiative to help mental health service providers meet growing community needs amid increasingly limited resources. Grants made through this initiative are now coming to an end.
The foundation developed the initiative in response to calls for help from mental health services providers, nonprofit agencies, and municipal governments around the state.
Rapidly expanding populations, escalating medical costs, and recent changes to the financing and structure of the public mental health system were all identified as causes for the situation they faced.
"Service providers told us that they were struggling like never before to handle increasing needs for services in the face of dwindling resources," Executive Director Dr. King Davis said.
"The acute and obvious needs of these communities required that the foundation rethink its priorities and commit its resources in new ways to have the optimum positive impact during a period of uncertainty."
"Our goal for the Special Mental Health Services Initiative was to provide organizations with short-term financial support for direct service delivery during a period of declining and uncertain funding," said Davis, "in hopes that this 'bridge funding' would give them time to find surer financial ground."
The initiative was open to nonprofit organizations that provide direct mental health services in Texas.
The $4.6 million was distributed among eight regions across the state, including the Houston area, where separate resources were dedicated for the benefit of children and families.
"As this special initiative winds down, we are gratified to learn that many of the grantees have been able to find ways to keep their programs going," said Davis. "We know the financial crisis has by no means passed, but this initiative gave organizations around the state extra time and resources to navigate an extremely difficult period."
In the special initiative grantees' final reports, it was clear how hard the organizations worked to secure the sustainability of their programs following Hogg Foundation funding. One such organization's story is highlighted below.
The complete list of organizations funded through the initiative was included in the Hogg Foundation spring 2005 newsletter.
Transitional Services at Concho Valley MHMR
Mental Health Mental Retardation (MHMR) Services for the Concho Valley in San Angelo received $85,000 through the Special Mental Health Services Initiative. They used the funds to launch the Transitional Assistance Program (TAP), a program for people with mental health problems who are not eligible for services in the public mental health system due to the state's recently narrowed priority population.
The Hogg Foundation grant enabled MHMR Services for the Concho Valley to hire a case manager and pay for psychiatric medications and medical services for TAP clients, most of whom have mild to moderate anxiety or depression.
"This grant gave us the opportunity to help people who were no longer eligible for MHMR services," said Ms. Betty Koger, TAP case manager. "These people had no place else to go." MHMR Services for the Concho Valley and its board were delighted by the impact of these services on a population that seemed out of their reach.
"We have seen that with these basic services, we can get people feeling better and get them back to work, while actually saving the community and MHMR money," said Koger. "We can treat three people in our program for what it would cost to hospitalize just one person. Our board is convinced this is the way to go, and they have made a commitment to supporting this program as we move forward."
TAP has provided services to over 100 people so far, and the referrals keep coming.
"Our clients are always saying 'thank you for this help,'" said Koger. "I'm just glad we're here. The Hogg Foundation grant gave us the opportunity to show that we can take care of this population. It's financially feasible, and it's making a difference in people's lives."