Robert Lee Sutherland Seminar

Since 1978, the foundation has convened this biennial seminar to increase awareness about mental health concepts, such as recovery, integrated health, and barriers to well-being. Named after our first executive director, Dr. Robert Lee Sutherland, this event offers a chance for Texans to reflect on critical issues in mental health and promote innovation and collaboration among providers, advocates, consumers and their families.

A Legacy of Dialogue for the Advancement of Mental Health in Texas

Keynoted by First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the inaugural seminar brought more than 1,000 people together to examine the implications of the U.S. President’s Commission on Mental Health Report for the people of Texas. Each seminar features a different theme based on the landscape of mental health in Texas at the time of the event. Check out seminar themes from past years, below.

Past Seminars: The 2010s
  • 2019: WORKING TOGETHER FOR RURAL WELL-BEING
    With a theme born out of the foundation’s new mission to transform how communities promote mental health in everyday life, this seminar was open to individuals from all walks of life who were interested in community-based approaches to addressing resilience, mental health and well-being in rural communities. Topics included community collaboration, change, engaging historically excluded groups, social determinants of mental health, and methods for inclusive dialogue. View presentations and related resources.
  • 2014: THE STATE OF MENTAL HEALTH RECOVERY: RESEARCH, TRAINING, AND PRACTICE
    Defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential,” mental health recovery is one of the most important aims of behavioral health services and is transforming current standards of practice. 
  • 2012: SPIRITUAL CROSSROADS: FAITH, MENTAL HEALTH AND THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY
    This seminar offered knowledge of the impact spirituality has on African American mental health, increased awareness of existing community-based strategies, and facilitated networking among key regional stakeholders.
  • 2010: A CALL TO ACTION: ACHIEVING MENTAL HEALTH, RECOVERY AND WELLNESS TOGETHER
    This seminar established a common knowledge base and dialogue about mental health, recovery and wellness and offered perspectives from mental health consumers, youth and their families.
Past Seminars: The 2000s
  • 2008: INTEGRATED HEALTH: CONNECTING BODY AND MIND
    This seminar convened the knowledge and experience of more than 50 national, state and local physical and behavioral health care experts, providers and consumers with experience in systematically coordinating physical and behavioral health care.
  • 2006: TRANSFORMING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN TEXAS: BUILDING BRIDGES BETWEEN CULTURAL COMPETENCE AND EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE
    The seminar provided education and dialogue on cultural competence and evidence-based practices, and promoted linguistically- and culturally-appropriate treatment, training and education practices.
  • 2004: SAFE AND APPROPRIATE BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTIONS: CHANGING THE CULTURE OF CARE
    The seminar began building a common language and a data collection framework to better implement federal restraints and seclusion standards within the context of quality service provision in Texas.
  • 2002: JUVENILE OFFENDERS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
    This seminar promoted coordination and collaboration of juvenile justice agencies, local and state law enforcement, mental health officials and community members in effectively identifying, treating and supervising juvenile offenders with severe emotional disturbances.
Past Seminars: The 1990s
  • 1998: ETHNIC MINORITY MENTAL HEALTH IN TEXAS
    This seminar focused on identifying the most pressing mental health needs facing ethnic and racial minorities in Texas, and offered solutions that helped shape the foundation’s minority mental health initiative to improve access to quality services and impacted public policy.
  • 1996: MENTAL HEALTH FOR CHILDREN IN HOUSTON
    This seminar convened Houstonians to encourage the collaborative design, funding and implementation of a model program for children’s mental health that could be replicated in other urban centers. The Greater Houston Collaborative for Children, a major funding alliance, grew out of this seminar.
  • 1994: PSYCHIATRIC ASSESSMENT OF MEXICAN-ORIGIN POPULATIONS
    This seminar convened a diverse group of experts from Texas and Mexico to discuss adapting various psychiatric and diagnostic instruments for use in the border region.
  • 1992: SHARED OPPORTUNITIES FOR SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES
    This seminar offered information about the nature and effectiveness of school-linked mental health services, policy implementation of such programs, and future prospects for parents and teachers to participate in related education reform.
  • 1990: MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH IN TEXAS
    In connection with the foundation’s 50th anniversary, this seminar brought together researchers from across the state with the goals of highlighting the best Texas has to offer in advancing scientific frontiers in the field of mental health.
Past Seminars: The 1980s
  • 1988: COMMUNITY CARE OF THE CHRONICALLY MENTALLY ILL
    This seminar featured delegates from around the state who participated in four task groups to review and discuss the activities and concerns of the foundation’s Commission on Community Care of the Mentally Ill.
  • 1986: MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES OF THE MEXICAN ORIGIN POPULATION IN TEXAS
    This seminar focused on the incidence and prevalence of mental health challenges and associated risk factors among people of Mexican origin. Available prevention and treatment programs were discussed, as well as the impact of economics and political decision-making processes related to mental health services for this population.
  • 1982: HOUSTON’S CHILDREN IN CRISIS & IMA HOGG CENTENNIAL
    Participants commemorated Miss Ima Hogg’s birthday and her contributions to mental health services for children and families in Houston by discussing the needs of underserved children with mental health challenges and/or intellectual or developmental disabilities.
  • 1980: PRIVATE INITIATIVE IN SUPPORT OF PUBLIC PURPOSE – MENTAL HEALTH IN TEXAS
    This seminar focused on how the private and public sectors can better help one another meet their common goals. It examined effective roles for foundations in mobilizing grass roots support for mental health planning and evaluated roles for the private sector in the area of mental health.