The Hogg Foundation is collaborating with the Department of State Health Services to provide support to Via Hope as the state’s training and technical assistance center for mental health consumers, family members, providers and youth.
One of the largest initiatives for Via Hope is training and certification for peer specialists, people in recovery from mental illness who want to help others with their recovery. People who complete the training and become certified are eligible for jobs as certified peer specialists in health care centers, residential treatment facilities, state hospitals and other places that serve consumers.
To help bring peers into the traditional mental health system, the Recovery Institute was created and is helping to transform the Texas mental health system into a system that expects and supports recovery.
Additionally, Via Hope has developed and implemented a Family Partner Training and Certification initiative. A family partner is a parent of a child with mental health issues who has learned to navigate the mental health system and can share that knowledge and experience with another parent.
In October 2005, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded a five-year Mental Health Transformation Grant to Texas, with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) designated as the lead agency. In the Texas Mental Health Transformation Project, the state was charged with building a solid foundation for delivering evidence-based mental health and related services, fostering recovery, improving quality of life, and meeting the multiple needs of mental health consumers across the life span.
Mental Health America of Texas and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Texas, launched Via Hope in 2009 with funding from DSHS as part of the Texas Mental Health Transformation Project. The Hogg Foundation granted additional funds to Via Hope in 2010 to expand the scope of work.
Hogg Program Officer
Tammy Heinz serves as program officer and consumer & family liaison for the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, bringing the perspectives of consumers, youth and family members into the foundation’s grant making, operations and decision-making processes. For more than 15 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.