In July 2018, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health awarded $4.5 million across six grantees of the Collaborative Approaches to Well-Being in Rural Communities (WRC) initiative.
One grantee, Alliance for Greater Works, received funds to coordinate the initiative, and the other five—all in rural Texas counties—are using the funding to develop or build upon an existing collaborative to strengthen resilience, mental health and well-being in their communities. Through this project, we seek to address the community conditions that contribute to mental health disparities and the significant inequities that exist in Texas, and leverage the power of inclusivity and shared decision-making to create and implement community-driven solutions.
It’s a tall order, thus, we’ve given each collaborative three years to assess their community’s needs and assets, build new relationships, and identify strategies that lead to better mental health for everyone in their community. The grantees are in the first of these three years.
Check out these brief spotlights on each of the grantees to get a sense of the needs, assets and plans in each county:
Bastrop County Spotlight
Led by the County Judge Paul Pape, Bastrop County Cares seeks to build a diverse collaborative of community liaisons, including leaders from faith circles and veterans to name a couple examples. Operating under the name Resilient Bastrop, the collaborative will engage members of historically and geographically excluded groups to bring their voice and presence into decision-making processes with the goal of mobilizing inclusive, systems-level change. Read more
Brooks County Spotlight
Conceived by the Community Action Corporation of South Texas, which ultimately aims to replicate project successes in the 16 counties it serves, the Behavioral and Health Outreach Leadership Development Collaborative will deploy engagement strategies that, in crossing socio-demographic lines and uniting participants’ interests, foster a supporting “culture of community.” Read more
Morris County Spotlight
Morris County Collaborative had its start as a community-led initiative organized by Ms. Margine Mims, a resident who continues to work tirelessly towards the betterment of her community. Now with the fiscal support of Northeast Texas Community College, the Collaborative is bringing together local service providers, government officials and community members to restore a sense of pride and hope throughout the county. Read more
Nacogdoches County Spotlight
While faculty from the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Social Work will play a crucial role in helping the Collaborative develop, the ultimate goal is full community ownership—with a focus on the participation of historically excluded populations. Read more
Victoria County Spotlight
The Be Well Victoria Collaborative, created with support from the Victoria County Public Health Department, is harnessing the resources and collective wisdom of an impressive array of community partners to engage traditionally excluded groups. Read more
A Conversation with the Initiative Coordinator
We also recommend listening to this episode of our Into the Fold podcast on Leading with Cultural Humility with Sherry Willis of Alliance for Greater Works, the grantee coordinating the entire WRC initiative. (Written synopsis available at the link provided.)