Earlier this month, we announced that the Hogg Foundation is making a strategic shift to focus on supporting community environments that promote mental health and well-being. In the process of developing our new strategic plan, we also revisited the foundation’s vision and mission statements.
The story of how the Hogg Foundation came to be is fascinating and complicated. Essentially, when Will Hogg passed away in 1930, his siblings—Ima and Mike Hogg—assumed the responsibility of disposing of his estate as stipulated in his will, which bequeathed about $2.5 million to an endowment fund.
After years of thinking about how best to use the estate, Ima and Mike decided to create an endowment that would be managed by The University of Texas and dedicated to the common good of all Texans. Ima envisioned a program dedicated to mental health, which had been a frequent topic of discussion between Ima and Will in the years prior to his unexpected death.
In 1939, the Will Hogg endowment was transferred to the Board of Regents of The University of Texas with the understanding that it would provide a “fund” for a “mental health program” for “the people of Texas.” In 1940, Robert Lee Sutherland became the foundation’s first director. In 1943, the Board of Regents unanimously adopted the name “Hogg Foundation for Mental Hygiene.”
Fast forward to today, the foundation kept the original intent of Ima and Mike in mind as we considered a new strategic direction and vision for the organization.
New vision: The people of Texas thrive in communities that support mental health and well-being.
Our new, long-term vision is intentionally aligned with our founding vision to provide a “mental health program for the people of Texas.” For us, our new vision means that the extent to which people are connected to safe and resilient communities that support mental health is not determined by where they live, how much schooling they have, how much they earn, what they look like, what language they speak, who they love, or how they worship. Achieving this vision will mean that people feel safe in their neighborhoods and experience a sense of control over their own lives, and a broad array of institutions, programs and services are designed with mental health and well-being in mind.
New mission: Transform how communities promote mental health in everyday life.
With this new mission, we expect mental health to become a concept that is promoted beyond the walls of health clinics and integrated into everyday life. Community members, leaders and professionals—from teachers and preachers, to police officers and judges—will understand the importance of mental health and the factors that influence it—from prevention to early intervention and recovery. Children will be supported by their families, teachers, peers, counselors and administrators in ways that enhance social connection and resiliency. With the right tools, information and resources, we can work together to improve mental health and support people in identifying and addressing potential issues early on.
Given the gravity of the challenges facing Texas today, we’re excited to dedicate the upcoming years to working with communities to create environments that promote positive mental health in everyday life.