AUSTIN, Texas – The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin has awarded a grant of $300,000 to Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS) for coordination of the Seclusion and Restraint Reduction Leadership Group. The Group was launched by the Hogg Foundation in 2007 as a working group of mental health experts and stakeholders — clinicians, agency leaders, advocates and consumers — who are committed to reducing the use of seclusion and restraint in a wide range of settings. The grant will support TNOYS in the continuation and enhancement of the Leadership Group’s activities.

Seclusion and restraints are too often used to control people in settings such as schools, psychiatric hospitals, juvenile detention centers and residential treatment settings. The interventions are not evidence-based and represent a failure in treatment. They can cause trauma and injury to clients and staff. The Leadership Group promotes alternatives through research, policy analysis, outreach, technical assistance and education.

TNOYS has titled its initiative Growing a Culture of Care. Its central focus will be to build upon and make strong use of the knowledge base that the Leadership Group has developed over the first seven years of its existence. Among other activities, TNOYS will develop policy and evaluation tools for agencies to use internally, coordinate an annual symposium on seclusion and restraint reduction, and educate legislative and agency policymakers about means to reduce seclusion and restraint throughout Texas.

“The Hogg Foundation has really been the leader in the movement to reduce the use of seclusion and restraint practices in mental health facilities and other settings in Texas,” said Christine Gendron, executive director of TNOYS. “We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to partner with the foundation and those who participate in the leadership group to build on their important work.”

“In their proposal, Texas Network of Youth Services impressed us with the extent and intensity of their engagement with this issue,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation and associate vice president for diversity and community engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. “As a foundation that is deeply committed to humane, evidence-based approaches to working with persons experiencing mental health crises, reducing the use of seclusion and restraint is a crucial objective for us. We applaud the work that TNOYS is doing in this area.”

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 Governor James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.