AUSTIN, Texas – The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin has awarded eight grants totaling roughly $10 million. The four-year grants are the latest milestone in an ongoing initiative to identify and address the mental health needs of transition-age youth and their families (TAYF) in the Houston/Harris County area.
A transition-age youth (TAY) is a young person between the ages of 14 and 25 who is experiencing mental health challenges. During this time, TAY are faced with making complex decisions as they transition from adolescence into young adulthood. This can involve renegotiating personal relationships, health care, education, employment, housing and personal finances at the same time that the supports and services they receive as adolescents are altered or phased out.
The Hogg Foundation is committed to enhancing a system of care in the Houston and Harris County area that not only addresses these transitional needs, but also provides opportunities for TAYF to have a voice as equal partners at all levels of program planning, development and implementation.
The TAYF Service Implementation Grants are the second phase of the larger TAYF initiative, which launched in the fall of 2013. During the first phase, eight organizations in the Houston/Harris County area received six-month planning grants to engage TAYF in a strategic learning process around creating effective mental health services and supports. For the second phase, these same eight organizations are being awarded grant funds to fully implement needed services and supports that were identified and recommended by TAYF.
The $10 million in grants cover a wide range of mental health providers and resources that TAYF utilize on a regular basis. A philosophy being embraced by several of the grantees’ will be the Transition to Independence Process (TIP), a model program that has shown promising results for TAYF in terms of overall outcomes and life success.
The 2014 TAYF Service Implementation Grantees are:
- Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics ($1 million) – To enhance the participation of TAYF in individual, family and group therapy; to develop a TIP-informed curriculum; and to educate pediatric and adult mental health providers on the unique needs of transition-age youth.
- Communities In Schools of Houston Inc. ($1.4 million) – To support efforts to implement care coordination, peer support and related services to TAY at select high schools and community college campuses in the areas of education, employment and housing.
- Disability Rights Texas ($890,000) – To work collaboratively with TAYF and other stakeholders to provide legal services and self-advocacy skills training for TAYF, and to develop a TIP-informed training curriculum to assist youth and family members with accessing services and supports.
- Easter Seals of Greater Houston Inc. ($1.6 million) -To support a collaboration of organizations that will provide a menu of transition services (job training, financial literacy, housing, education, etc.) for teens and young adults living with co-occurring mental health challenges and autism spectrum disorder.
- Family Services of Greater Houston ($1.3 million) – To develop TIP-informed individual and family counseling and navigation services to support the emotional and behavioral health needs of TAYF.
- Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults ($1.2 million) – To support the Houston Alumni & Youth Center, a one-stop center where foster care and former foster care TAY can make use of a wide range of transitional resources and services.
- Houston Department of Health and Human Services ($1 million) – To develop a curriculum in partnership with youth to train and certify TAY as Peer Wellness Specialists and integrated health mentors.
- Star of Hope Mission ($1.4 million) – To support the development and delivery of supportive services to TAY who are current or former residents of Star of Hope Mission’s homeless shelters and transitional and supportive living programs.
“We’re excited to see these eight organizations launch the next phase of the multi-year TAYF initiative,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation and vice president for diversity and community engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. “They have just gone through a collaborative and highly productive planning process, generating momentum that the new grant funds will only magnify.”
The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by funding mental health services, policy analysis, research and public education. The foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.