AUSTIN, Texas – The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin has awarded a two-year, $368,077 grant to provide training and technical assistance to two state-supported living centers (SSLCs) and participating community-service providers supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The training and technical assistance will be conducted at the San Angelo and Mexia SSLCs and will focus on trauma-informed care for individuals with a dual diagnosis of an intellectual disability and a mental illness or other challenging behavior. Trauma-informed care is a form of mental health intervention that specifically addresses the consequences of trauma for an individual and facilitates healing.

The grant project is part of a partnership with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) aimed at reducing the use of restraints on patients by implementing trauma-informed practices.

“The ability to train our staff in trauma-informed approaches will play a critical role in enhancing the quality of life for residents receiving services at our state-supported living centers,” said Chris Adams, assistant commissioner of DADS.

The project will be coordinated by Project Janus, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that supports preventative care, treatment and crisis intervention services for individuals with a dual diagnosis.

“The mental health needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities are at best undertreated and often are simply ignored,” said Denise Bloomquist, executive director of Project Janus. “Training the staff of state-supported living centers and community service providers to implement trauma-informed care is an important step in improving safety and treatment for individuals with a dual diagnosis.”

Since 2004, the Hogg Foundation has worked to reduce seclusion and restraint practices in Texas through conferences, seminars, trainings, teleconferences and a leadership group.

“This initiative extends an important focus area of the Hogg Foundation to reduce restraint in Texas. The collaborative effort of DADS and Project Janus addresses a vital need to train our care givers in trauma-informed care practices,” said Dr. Lynda Frost, director of planning and programs at the foundation.

The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by supporting 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.