Mental Health Research Grants

For most of our history, funding mental health research has been a priority for the Hogg Foundation. In recent years, we have increasingly prioritized recovery-oriented research, which furthers knowledge of and evidence for recovery-oriented practices, including person-centered care, innovative mental health supports, developing and evaluating outcome measures, and peer specialist workforce issues.

Recovery-oriented care has gained increasing recognition as a person-centered approach which leads to improved consumer outcomes. Operating under the assumption that people can and do recover from mental illness, the concept of mental health recovery was identified as the principal aim of future behavioral health services by the 1999 Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health and the 2003 President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.

Recovery-oriented research strongly values the perspective that mental health consumers bring to the research enterprise, recognizing that consumers in recovery have unique expertise and experience. Through recovery-oriented research grants, the Hogg Foundation aims not only to add to the evidence base of recovery-oriented practices, but also to further the opportunities for people with lived experience of mental illness to act as co-investigators within the research and evaluation enterprise.

Fellowship for Doctoral Research

Each year, we award a one-time fellowship of $20,000 to doctoral students at The University of Texas at Austin who are completing a dissertation on the human experience in crises, including those resulting from natural or other major disasters or, more broadly, stress and adversity.

The Moore Fellowship was established in 1995 to support studies of the human experience in crises. Dr. Harry Moore was a professor and sociologist at the university for nearly 30 years until his death in 1966. He specialized in disaster studies, especially the aftermath of Texas tornadoes and hurricanes.

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Mental Health Dissertation Award

Francis Fowler Wallace Scholarships of up to $1,500 each are awarded annually to support dissertation research expenses of doctoral students at The University of Texas at Austin. Mental health must be central to the proposed projects and, for the purposes of this award, mental health may be broadly defined. Projects may focus on any aspect of mental health including promotion, prevention, early intervention, treatment or workforce-related concerns.

Frances Fowler Wallace, wife of former Texas state Rep. John Forsythe Wallace, created the scholarship in her will in 1974 to support research and study of “the cause, treatment, cure, and prevention of mental disease, mental illness, and mental disorders.”

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2016 Grantees

The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health is pleased to announce that seven universities have each received the Mental Health Recovery-Oriented Research University grant. Read more

  • Texas A&M University ($21,371) – To conduct a training and research project that will train three local fire departments in peer support skills for firefighters and also collect follow-up assessments of trainee skills acquisition and satisfaction. The goal is to ensure that firefighters, an understudied group, have access to the latest in peer training and to add to the knowledge base on the efficacy of ongoing peer-based supervision for peer specialists.
  • Texas A&M University-Central Texas ($21,976) – To conduct a mixed-methods study that will explore Black women’s experience of, perception of, and recovery from depression. The goal is to provide evidence for mental health interventions that make effective use of the unique strengths and cultural values of Black communities.
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso ($22,000) – To identify areas of difference and overlap between consumer and psychiatrist perspectives on and assessments of recovery, and to develop an intervention to provide an opportunity for consumers and psychiatrists to inform each other of their views of appropriate measures of recovery from mental illness.
  • The University of Texas at El Paso ($21,985) – To conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to examine the impact of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Peer-to-Peer program on recovery-oriented outcomes among individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) in a US-Mexico border region.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ($21,987) – To implement a phase of the Recovery Oriented Research Methods for Youth in an Alternative Peer Group project, a long-term effort to add to the evidence base for mental health and substance use recovery by testing the effectiveness of Alternative Peer Groups and other recovery support models for youth.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio ($21,637) – To discover the feasibility of establishing a recovery-oriented crisis service in Bexar County, TX based on interviews with individuals who have experienced psychiatric crises. The study proceeds from consumers’ reported experiences with mainstream crisis services, whose practices, which include the use of coercive treatment, are often found to be at-odds with recovery-oriented principles.
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley ($22,000) – To conduct research to provide evidence for recovery-oriented therapy, and in particular for the efficacy of peer-led interventions, for Mexican American youth with mental health and substance use issues in the Rio Grande Valley. This particular population is highly at-risk and underserved in the area of mental health services.
2015 Grantees

The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health is pleased to announce that four university departments and one nonprofit organization have each received the Mental Health Recovery-oriented Research in Texas grant. Read more

  • Community Healthcore ($32,000) – To train a cohort of peers in research methods to study the efficacy of a peer-led, evidence-based trauma treatment.
  • Southern Methodist University, Department of Anthropology ($98,400) – To conduct a pilot intervention study of early intervention services with a focus on Latino/a youths with a new-onset psychotic disorder.
  • University of Texas at El Paso, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences ($66,000) – To develop and validate a measure of self-determined participation in community life from the standpoint of persons with serious illness.
  • University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work ($80,480) – To test the efficacy for older foster youths of “Just Do You,” a recovery-based group intervention designed to promote a positive orientation toward mental health care for young adults.
  • University of North Texas, Department of Disability and Addiction Rehabilitation ($59,000) – To conduct a mixed-methods study of the relationship between self-determination theory and vocational rehabilitation in the mental health recovery process.

Ten tenure-track assistant professors in Texas have been awarded $192,440 in grants by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to conduct innovative research in mental health. Read more

  • Baylor University: Dr. Thomas Fergus, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, is conducting a study that will provide initial outcomes data for the attention training technique, a novel and promising intervention for anxiety and related disorders. Dr. Lindsay Wilkinson, Department of Sociology, will examine the mental health effects of the economic recession of 2007–2009 among black, white and Hispanic older adults.
  • Texas A&M Health Science Center: Dr. Ranjana Mehta, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, will study the impact of major depression on precision motor control and associated functional changes in the frontal brain regions.
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center: Dr. Suzanne Gonzalez, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Department of Biomedical Sciences, will study deletion variants in genes associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder among a cohort of Texas Hispanic psychiatric subjects. Research in this field may lead to the development of novel and effective treatments for psychiatric disorders among an underserved population: Latino Americans.
  • The University of Texas at Austin: Dr. Jessica Cance, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, will study the relationship between substance use patterns and suicidality among college students. Dr. Marci Gleason, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, will examine the role of daily mood and social support in predicting postpartum depression in new parents.
  • The University of Texas at El Paso: Dr. Jennifer Sánchez, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, will evaluate the effectiveness of a group motivational interviewing intervention for people with serious mental illness that will emphasize vocational recovery –i.e. the activation of thoughts and behaviours conducive to gaining employment.
  • University of Houston: Dr. Samuel McQuillin, Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences, will conduct a pilot study of a youth mentoring program designed to promote adolescent mental health.
  • University of Houston-Downtown: Dr. Katrina Rufino, Department of Social Sciences, will examine mechanisms of change and predictors of post-discharge suicide risk in suicidal psychiatric inpatients.
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center: Dr. Carrie McAdams, Department of Psychiatry, will conduct a follow-up study of the relationship between attribution biases and recovery among mental health consumers with anorexia nervosa.
2014 Grantees

Nine tenure-track assistant professors in Texas have been awarded $173,250 in grants by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to conduct innovative research in mental health. Read more

  • The University of Texas at El Paso: Dr. Erin Barnes, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences Counseling, will examine the relationship between the attributions (the cognitive strategies individuals use to understand events) of veterans with service-connected mental health conditions and recovery.
  • University of Houston: Dr. Jodi Berger Cardoso, Graduate College of Social Work, will study mental health and parenting stress in Latino immigrants and their children within the context of deportation risk. Dr. McClain Sampson, Graduate College of Social Work, will study the feasibility and effectiveness of a home visit intervention for postpartum depression in a primary care setting that predominantly serves low-income women of color.
  • The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston: Dr. Sara Nowakowski, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will examine the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of insomnia among peri- and postmenopausal women with major depressive disorder.
  • The University of Texas at Austin: Dr. Samuel S. Richardson, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, will lead a project that uses ArGIS software and census tract data to create interactive maps that precisely represent the mental health workforce shortage in Texas. Dr. Christopher P. Salas-Wright, School of Social Work, in collaboration with Dr. Lori Holleran Steiker, also of the School of Social Work, will pilot test a student veteran-adapted version of the “Keepin’ it REAL” intervention, which focuses on the development of decision-making and substance use resistance skills among student veterans experiencing psychological distress.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio: Dr. Donna Roybal, Department of Psychiatry, will study the association between early life stress, epigenetics and brain activation in anxious children at high risk for bipolar disorder.
  • Sam Houston State University: Dr. Adam T. Schmidt, Department of Psychology and Philosophy, will conduct a study that examines mental health symptoms and protective factors in children of incarcerated fathers.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston: Dr. Anka A. Vujanovic, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, will examine the effects of posttraumatic stress symptom severity and distress tolerance on treatment adherence, treatment duration and treatment response in an inpatient psychiatric facility population.
2013 Grantees

Ten tenure-track assistant professors in Texas have been awarded $192,130 in grants by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to conduct innovative research in mental health. Read more

  • Southern Methodist University: Chrystyna Kouros, Department of Psychology, in collaboration with Naomi Ekas, Texas Christian University Department of Psychology, will examine ethnic differences in the identification of and attributions about children’s depression symptoms.
  • Texas State University: Christine Lynn Norton, School of Social Work, will study the use of adventure therapy, a unique and innovative approach to treatment, on children and families affected by abuse and neglect.
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso: Dr. Rebecca M. Pasillas, Department of Psychiatry, will examine a psychotherapeutic intervention known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Social Skills Training and assess its efficacy with Latinos with serious mental illness.
  • University of Houston: Sarah C. Narendorf, Graduate College of Social Work, will gather data on help-seeking patterns from a set of young adults who have accessed psychiatric emergency services in Harris County.
  • University of North Texas: Camilo J. Ruggero, Department of Psychology, will examine the use of screening instruments for bipolar disorder for utilization with Spanish-speaking individuals.
  • UNT Health Science Center: Dr. Brandy Roane, Department of Internal Medicine, will study the relationship between depression and sleep disorders among Mexican American adults and elders.
  • The University of Texas at Austin: Susan De Luca, School of Social Work, will conduct a study of adolescents receiving treatment, in response to suicide attempts, at a psychiatric hospital in Central Texas. Andreana Haley, Department of Psychology, will investigate whether stress, depression and anxiety may worsen cognitive vulnerability for people who are carriers of the herpes simplex 1 virus. Delida Sanchez, Department of Educational Psychology, will study the relationship between depression and sexual risk behaviors among Latina adolescents.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston: Dr. Paul J. Rowan, School of Public Health, will study the association of maternal depression with pre-term delivery and poor immunization compliance.
Program Officers

Rick Ybarra serves as program officer for the Hogg Foundation and leads the Integrated Health Care Initiative. With over 25 years of clinical and administrative experience in both private and public sector behavioral health, Ybarra’s policy and program experience extends to county, state and national efforts promoting reforms, public policies and clinical practice to improve effective service delivery and health equity for racial/ethnic populations. Ybarra joined the foundation in 2007. For more on Ybarra, see his bio.

Tammy Heinz serves as program officer and consumer & family liaison for the Hogg Foundation, bringing the perspectives of consumers, youth and family members into the foundation’s grant making, operations and decision-making processes. For more than 20 years, Heinz has worked in the state and local mental health arenas providing psychiatric care, consumer training and workshops, employment coaching and job development, stigma reduction and advocacy services. She also has experience in strategic planning, policy work, grant writing, public speaking, community outreach and coalition building. For more on Heinz, see her bio.

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