Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation to receive HHSC mental health grant

The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation has announced it will receive a Community Mental Health Grant from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

The Community Mental Health Grant Program was established during the 2017 legislative session via House Bill 13. Through the program, HHSC awards grants to local Texas communities to address the mental health needs of local individuals. The state has allocated $30 million in state funds over the 2018-19 biennium to be matched with local and private funds.

DFWHC Foundation’s North Texas Community Health Collaborative will use the new funding to provide Mental Health First Aid training in 12 North Texas counties.

Mental Health First Aid training is an 8-hour program focused on increasing the understanding of mental health issues and treatments, reducing stigma, and connecting people with mental health and substance abuse treatment services. The 12 counties to receive this training are Ellis, Erath, Grayson, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, and Wise counties.

Earlier this year, the North Texas Community Health Collaborative released a report evaluating 16 North Texas counties. Seven counties surveyed have no psychiatric care beds in hospitals and 10 counties do not have a psychiatric hospital, according to the report. Eleven of the 12 counties who will receive the Mental Health First Aid training fall below the national and state average for behavioral health care providers per 100,000 population.

“We are honored to receive this grant from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission,” said Kristin Jenkins, president of the DFWHC Foundation. “As the assessment report revealed, the lack of behavioral healthcare in North Texas is troubling. The time to start recognizing and joining together to initiate change for our population is well overdue, and this is where Mental Health First Aid training will play a vital role.”