Mental Health Policy Fellows and Policy Academy

While nonprofit organizations can greatly impact public policy, many report their ability to engage in mental health policy-related activities is constrained by budgetary limitations and lack of expertise.

Launched in 2010, the Hogg Foundation Policy Academy and Fellows program increases individuals’ and organizations’ capacity and expertise to advance mental health policy in Texas, while also increasing the consumer voice in policy development and implementation.

Policy Fellows Program

Through the program, the foundation awards ten organizations a two-year grant to employ a mental health Policy Fellow (a recent graduate of law, social work, public policy, public health or related field) or a Peer Policy Fellow (an individual with lived experience of mental health and/or substance use conditions). Learn more about the policy fellows program.

Eligibility and Application

During the application process, eligible organizations in Texas are invited to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP) which funds five Policy Fellow positions and five Peer Policy Fellow positions in 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, governmental entities, or higher education institutions. The grant typically includes 95 percent of the fellow’s salary, 100 percent of fringe benefits, a mentor stipend, professional development allowance and overhead costs. Selected Policy Fellows attend the Policy Academy as part of their continued education.

 The next open RFP for this initiative will be announced in early 2024. 


Policy Academy

The Hogg Foundation’s Mental Health Policy Academy, facilitated by Texans Care for Children, provides substantial professional development and an enriching network in the areas of mental health policy and advocacy.

Participants in the academy receive training to enhance their effectiveness as advocates. They are provided frequent networking opportunities with legislative staffers, policy experts, individuals with lived experience, family members, and direct service providers. In addition, policy Fellows and their mentors attend a one-week federal immersion program based in Washington, D.C.

Topics discussed include:

  • Identifying policy challenges, assessing options for addressing them, and developing policy solutions
  • The landscape of Texas and national mental health policy
  • Strategies for working with and educating decision-makers in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government
  • Best practices in mental health and effective means for implementing these practices in Texas
  • Peer support
  • Organizational development

Questions: Contact Shannon Hoffman, Policy Program Specialist

Policy Fellow Retrospective

Document cover: A Retrospective on a Decade of InvestmentWe take a look back at our decade of investment in the Mental Health Policy Academy and Policy Fellow Initiative.

These resources are available as a full report, executive summary, and a one-pager.

Take a look at these resources