Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr.

With the COVID-19 pandemic upending all of our lives, this past year has been a wrenching one for us as both proud citizens of this country and as an organization that is committed to the mental health and well-being of others.

And yet, never in my tenure have I been prouder of the work of our grantees, or of our staff that has had to adapt to this challenging new reality. Mental health has never mattered more than it does now, and our mission to understand the underlying conditions that shape mental health at the community level, and to use our grant dollars to transform these conditions for the better, has never felt more critical. Given this new urgency, it is all the more humbling that our grantees and staff have stepped up as never before.

This Engagement Report is a high-level snapshot of our many successes from Fiscal Year 2019-2020. As such, it cannot fully do justice to the many accomplishments of our grantees and staff. I implore you to use this Engagement Report as a gateway to a much deeper dive into learning about our grants, our history, and the steadfast people behind the scenes who make it all happen.

It’s also important to remember that collectively we have been through hardships and difficult times before and we will persevere through this time together as a foundation, as a university, as a city, as a state, as a nation.

Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr.

Executive Director, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Rising to the Challenge in Unprecedented Times

The pandemic sweeping across our nation has radically altered every aspect of society. COVID-19 has given new urgency to our efforts to understand how the different factors that influence mental health and well-being at the community level are interconnected, and how resilient communities strive toward solutions to complex problems—problems that have only become more daunting in light of COVID-19.

An Important Message from Dr. Martinez

It’s the best of times and the worst of times—but together we can increase our resilience.

Grantee Success Stories

Even amid the unprecedented COVID crisis our grantees have found ways to shine.

COVID-19 Resources

How can you protect your own mental health and the well-being of your community? These resources have some ideas.

Recognizing the Mental Health Impact of Racial Inequality and Injustice

As an organization whose mission is to help improve mental health and well-being, we recognize that there are social realities that lie beyond the scope of any one individual to overcome. The persistence of racism and the ongoing pattern of racial inequality that pervades every aspect of our society—from jobs to education to housing to health care—is one such problem. Evidence for the mental health impact of racism is considerable, and with this statement, we formally declare our commitment to addressing the problem through all available means. Please read our declaration and sign-on!

A Declaration of Our Commitment to Racial Justice

First page of Hogg declaration

Our Reach

As an organization whose mission is to help improve mental health and well-being across Texas, we are not geographically limited. We take pride in the fact that our grantees are hard at work transforming mental health in communities across the state, rural and urban.

This map shows the geographic spread of just two of our initiatives, Texas Communities Count (TCC) and our funding to food banks to support COVID-19 relief. Texas Communities Count is our $2.1 million initiative to support complete count efforts for the 2020 U.S. Census. Funds were awarded to 28 organizations whose work (encompassing local and regional get-out-the-count efforts as well as statewide coordination of such efforts) reaches 58 counties Texas, encompassing local and regional get-out-the-count programs, as well as statewide coordination of such efforts.

In the summer of 2020, we awarded $10,500 to seven Texas food banks whose work collectively covers 101 counties in Texas. Though modest in size relative to our major initiatives, its impact is still being felt by the more than 1.6 million people who experience food insecurity in those counties.

In the map to the right, counties impacted by a TCC grant (red), a food banks grant (blue), and both (purple) are shown.

By the Numbers

Funds Awarded

Active Grants

New Grantees

Funds Awarded



As we look back at the recent history of the foundation, we shouldn’t overlook our established programs and activities. Some of these reached important milestones over the past year, which are worth celebrating.

Our Journey as a Learning Organization

Over the last year, we have taken big strides in our journey towards becoming a true learning organization.

Engaging Community

Two cornerstone initiatives, Well-being in Rural Communities and Communities of Care, achieved important milestones this year.

100th Podcast Episode

In recognition of our milestone 100th episode of our Into the Fold podcast, we highlight a variety of our favorite episodes from the archive.


Over the 80 years of the foundation’s history, Texas has experienced many challenging times. What remains unchanged is that we’re here—supporting our communities. Get to know our story.

Our Story

This engaging timeline features major historical milestones, key leadership, publications, and more. Learn about our story through our history.

80 Years of Texas Resilience

In this blog post, we present a few examples documenting the foundation’s responses to historic crises.

Circuit Riders for Mental Health

In this video, author and historian William Bush discusses his groundbreaking history of the Hogg Foundation.


The summer of 2020 was a nation-defining moment. Learn how the foundation was also transformed by what took place.

Statement on George Floyd, Racial Violence, and Systemic Racism

Improving mental health for Texans cannot be achieved while communities of color are undervalued, unequal, and systemically oppressed.

Statement on UT Student Petition

The Hogg Foundation stands with UT Austin students and supports their efforts to transform the campus landscape to one that better reflects a commitment to diversity.

Podcast: Black Lives Matter

In this milestone 100th episode of our Into the Fold podcast, we dive into the Black Lives Matter movement and the topic of racism and historical trauma with a panel of experts.


COVID-19 isn’t just disrupting everyday life; it’s also damaging the 2020 U.S. Census. Learn more about why this matters, and what communities are doing about it.

Why the 2020 census is as important as ever

Even with COVID-19 upending our lives, communities still need to be counted. Read this piece written by our very own executive director.

Census 2020 in the Time of Coronavirus

On this episode of our Into the Fold podcast, Ava Graves and Katie Martin Lightfoot join us to discuss the 2020 Census and the impact of coronavirus.

A Timeline of Highlights

September 2019


Texas 86th Legislative Session Summary Published

During the 86th legislative session, mental health and substance use continued to garner significant attention, with school safety/mental health and opioid use high on the policy agenda. We issued a summary of key mental health and substance use-related legislation considered during the 86th legislative session. Learn more.

October 2019


Texas Tribune Partnership Begins

In October 2019, the Hogg Foundation began a sponsored content partnership with Texas Tribune. The first campaign centered around World Mental Health Day and the topic of suicide prevention. Learn more.

October 2019


Young Minds Matter 2019

Young Minds Matter: Communities Connecting for Well-being was a free, one-day training event for people who care about children, youth, families, and caregivers. It was hosted by the Hogg Foundation and coordinated by our partners, Prevention Institute. Learn more.

December 2019


Texas Communities Count!

In December 2019, the Hogg Foundation awarded $2.1 million for the Texas Communities Count initiative. Twenty-eight Texas organizations were awarded funds to support complete count efforts in Texas for the 2020 U.S. Census. Learn more.

December 2019


“It Was a Joyful Noise”

A PeerFest attendee at the beach poses for the camera. “Peers Rock” is spelled out in the sand.

In December 2019, we published a retrospective of the first-ever PeerFest, an event organized by and for mental health consumers. The purpose of the event was to inspire and connect Texans who are new to recovery through a restorative, empowering mix of practical and experiential activities. Learn more.

February 2020


Innocence Initiative “Girl Squad” Launches

The Hogg Foundation awards $10,000 to support MEASURE Austin’s Innocence Initiative, a project seeking to raise awareness about “adultification bias” and its negative effects on the lives of children of color. Learn more.

February 2020


Latinx Chicanx Behavioral Health Network Launches

The new Austin Latinx Chicanx Behavioral Health Network held its first meeting on February 4, 2020. The network provides a space for Latinx/Chicanx persons to explore the design, delivery and cultural appropriateness of behavioral health policies, programs, services and supports for Latinx/Chicanx persons. Learn more.

February 2020


Central Texas African American Family Support Conference

The Central Texas African American Family Support Conference (CTAAFSC) took place in Austin on February 11-12, 2020, marking the event’s 20th anniversary. This year’s conference overlapped with the 80th anniversary of the Hogg Foundation, which has been integrally involved in the conference since its outset and was a gold sponsor for this year’s event. Learn more.

February 2020


Can AI Support Youth Mental Health?

In this important story written for UT News by Julia Sufrin, Hogg Communications Specialist, University of Texas at Austin researchers explore whether artificial intelligence can help identify teens and young adults at risk for mental health challenges. Learn more.

March 2020


COVID-19 Response

This image is a computer generated representation of COVID-19 virions (SARS-CoV-2) under electron microscope.

On March 2020, the Hogg Foundation began its successful transition to a remote work environment in response to the coronavirus outbreak. That same week it published the first of what would be an ongoing series of COVID-19-related content, a blog post co-authored with our partners Prevention Institute titled, “The coronavirus crisis exposes our society’s weaknesses. It’s time to correct them.” Learn more.

May 2020


New Policy Fellows

The Hogg Foundation awarded 10 nonprofit advocacy groups a total of $1.2 million in grants over two years to hire in-house policy fellows. This marks the sixth Policy Fellows cohort since the program launched in 2010. Learn more.

May 2020


The Inequality of COVID-19

The Hogg Foundation produced an important podcast episode featuring a conversation between executive director Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr. and U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro to discuss the deep social implications of coronavirus through a health equity lens. Learn more.  

May 2020


Food Bank Emergency Funding

Tweet screenshot

As part of its COVID-19 response effort, the Hogg Foundation provided emergency funds to seven food banks representing 92 counties in Texas. Learn more.

June 2020


Dell Medical School Special Opportunity Grant

The Hogg Foundation awarded a one-time grant of $60,000 to Dell Medical School to support the school’s psychiatric first aid program for doctors, nurses, and other health care workers on the front lines of COVID-19. Learn more

June 2020


Changing the Conversation around Mental Health Communication

mental health and health communication graphic

With support from the Hogg Foundation, the Center for Health Communication created a whitepaper and curriculum modules around one important question: What are the best ways to train healthcare professionals and journalists about mental health and mental illness communication… and why should we? Learn more.

July 2020


New Ima Hogg Scholarships

2020 Ima Hogg Scholarship recipients

Sixteen graduate social work students from across Texas received scholarships of $5,000 each. Nominated by the heads of their social work programs, these students were chosen for their potential to bring renewed energy to the Texas mental health workforce. Learn more.

August 2020


The Caregivers Perspective: Coping with the Loss of Mental Health and Faith

A photo of Brianna Garrison

In this blog post, we chat with Brianna Garrison, recent recipient of the Frances Fowler Wallace Award for Dissertation Research, about her research which focuses on caregivers of persons living with dementia. Learn more.


The Hogg Foundation isn’t just a funder. We are tirelessly committed to influencing the broader conversation around mental health and well-being. Stay up-to-date with these resources.

Hogg Blog

Hogg in the News

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