The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn has caused widespread despair and feelings of vulnerability. During this session, we will explore the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and Texas’ response to people suffering from mental health challenges due to isolation and financial stress.
Each panelist will offer one slide highlighting a key question or topic they think is worth discussing. Our panelists, along with comments and questions from our audience members, will wrestle with each topic as we discuss how COVID-19 is impacting mental health across Texas. Join us in one of the most pressing problems facing our community!
Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm CDT
- Sonja Gaines: Deputy Executive Commissioner for Intellectual and Developmental Disability and Behavioral Health Services, Texas Health and Human Services
- Bonnie Cook: Chief Executive, Mental Health America of Greater Dallas
- Dell H. Braunsdorf, MD: Medical Director of Behavioral Health, Amerigoup
Sonja Gaines is the Deputy Executive Commissioner for Intellectual and Developmental Disability and Behavioral Health Services. She came to Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) in 2014 as the first Associate Commissioner for Mental Health Coordination. In 2016, she assumed leadership responsibility for the policy and delivery of community-based services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health conditions.
Bonnie Cook is the Chief Executive of Mental Health America of Greater Dallas serves on the Board of Directors for Mental Health America – National. Bonnie has over 17 years’ experience working in the mental health field. She has a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management.
Dell H. Braunsdorf, MD is the Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Amerigroup for Texas and Nevada. Dr. Braunsdorf has worked with adolescents, adults and geriatric patients in the inpatient, residential and outpatient settings, treating mental illness and substance use disorders. Dr. Braunsdorf received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston (Cum Laude graduate), with concentration in Environmental Management, and she received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.