Children’s Mental Health Projects
Building Resiliency after Trauma – The goal of the Building Resiliency project is to support the adoption and implementation of an evidence-based child trauma treatment, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), in two Texas communities (Fort Worth and Austin). In collaboration with the Department of State Health Services, Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County and The Children’s Partnership in Travis County, two training models were implemented across 18 community agencies and youth and family outcomes were evaluated. Find out more.
Texas School Based Behavioral Health Survey – Staff within the Institute supported a subcommittee of the Texas Mental Health Transformation initiative to conduct a survey to better understand the behavioral health resources and needs in schools across Texas. The survey was distributed to almost 3000 individuals, primarily school nurses, counselors, and administrators. View results to the survey and recommendations.
ASSET System of Care Expansion Planning Initiative – Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the goal of this initiative is to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to enhance the state and local infrastructure to strengthen the systems that interact with children, youth, and families with severe emotional disturbances. In collaboration with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Institute is leading efforts in planning, training and technical assistance, community development, and accountability process. Learn more.
Bringing What Works to Youth in Corrections – Funded by the National Institute for Mental Health, this research project aims to adapt an evidence-based trauma intervention, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, for use in the state correctional system. Following adaptation through a participatory approach, the effectiveness of the adapted model will be assessed in three correctional facilities. The feasibility study will allow for testing of the screening, recruitment, and consent processes, examine the acceptability and tolerability of the treatment approach, and provide preliminary estimates of effectiveness.
Revising the Recovery Self Assessment (RSA) for Youth and Caregivers – In partnership with the Department of State Health Services, staff at the Institute are revising the Recovery Self Assessment for use with children, youth, and caregivers receiving mental health services. The revised instrument will be evaluated for construct validity, reliability, and factor structure.
YES Waiver Evaluation – The Institute collaborated with the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to conduct an external evaluation of the Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Waiver. The YES Waiver is a 1915(c) Medicaid waiver targeting children and youth at risk of psychiatric hospitalization and out-of-home placement. A description of the YES Waiver is available on the DSHS YES Waiver website. The evaluation focuses on the YES Waiver implementation and operation in Bexar County and Travis County from March 2010 to July 2012. View results of the evaluation (Executive Summary and Evaluation Report).
Texas Children Recovering from Trauma – In partnership with the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Bluebonnet Trails Community Services, and Heart of Texas Regional MHMR, this effort aims to enhance services for children, youth, and families who have experienced trauma. The project aims to incorporate trauma-informed practices and increase access to Trauma-Focused CBT and Parent Child Interaction Therapy, with technical assistance and support from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. The Institute serves as the Evaluator on the initiative.
Family Partner Evaluation – Family partners are individuals who are parenting or have parented a child experiencing emotional, behavioral or mental health disorders and can articulate the understanding of their experience with another parent or family member. Texas has employed family partners throughout the state and now offers training and certification through Via Hope. The Institute is charged with conducting a descriptive evaluation of the use of family partners to understand how family partners are contracted, trained, and supported locally and the primary duties that this workforce provides.
Adult Mental Health Projects
Peer Specialist Learning Community – In collaboration with Via Hope and the Texas Department of State Health Services, researchers at the Center for Social Work Research offered mental health agencies in Texas the opportunity to participate in the Peer Specialist Learning Community (PSLC). The goal of the PSLC was to ensure employment opportunities for peer specialists by helping providers understand the benefits of hiring and utilizing Certified Peer Specialists (CPSs), identify changes in recovery orientation necessary to successfully incorporate CPSs into the workplace, and acquire additional supports in order for both CPSs and providers to be successful.
Study of Peer Specialist Employment Satisfaction and Outcomes – The number of states providing training and certification programs for peer providers is increasing but limited research has been conducted to understand the outcomes and effectiveness of these programs and the extent to which they meet the goals of states working to develop a recovery-oriented system of care. As part of the Texas Mental Health Transformation initiative, this study examined program participant outcomes related to participants’ recovery experience, exam performance, competency attainment, involvement in the behavioral health system, and employment.
Assessment of Consumer Operated Service Providers and Local Mental Health Authorities – In Texas, seven COSPs are funded by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) through a subcontract with the Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs) located in geographical proximity. In order to gain an understanding of the COSP-LMHA models, determine how COSPs could be expanded throughout the state, and identify training and technical assistance needs that would assist COSPs in developing the organizational capacity to become more self-sustaining, DSHS contracted with the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Social Work Research (UT-CSWR) to conduct an assessment of the COSPs and their associated LMHAs.
Consumer Operated Service Provider Institute – Consumer-Operated Service Providers (COSPs) are independent organizations operated and governed by persons in recovery. These organizations play a unique role in a recovery-oriented system of care, providing peer support and other services that are distinct from and complimentary to traditional mental health services. In an effort to strengthen the presence and impact of COSPs in Texas, staff at the Institute for Excellence in Mental Health are collaborating with Via Hope and the Texas Department of State Health Services to evaluate and provide technical assistance to participants of the COSP Institute. The COSP Institute is designed to help leaders of Texas COSPs strengthen organizational capacities, engage in sustainability planning and build alliances through training, technical assistance and intentional networking.
Local Mental Health Authority Peer Billing Survey – The Texas Department of State Health Services contracted with researchers from the Center for Social Work Research to examine peer-provided services within Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs), the utilization of Medicaid codes for peer-provided services, and perceived barriers and benefits associated with utilizing and hiring Certified Peer Specialists. Findings indicated that while most LMHAs in the state of Texas utilize mental health consumers as paid peer specialists, many do not bill Medicaid for peer-provided services.
Peer Specialists Training and Certification Evaluation – To support and expand Texas’s peer workforce, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) authorized Via Hope to develop and implement a standardized peer specialist training and certification (PSTC) program beginning in federal fiscal year (FY) 2010. DSHS contracted with a team of researchers at the Center for Social Work Research at the University of Texas to evaluate the PSTC program sponsored by Via Hope. The evaluation documented stakeholder feedback on the factors related to the successful development and implementation of the Via Hope-sponsored PSTC program and explored the experience of individual PSTC participants.
A Compendium of Peer Specialist Training and Certification Programs Across the Nation – The program review originated from researcher’s work evaluating Texas’ Mental Health Transformation efforts, specifically the Peer Specialist Training and Certification Program sponsored by Via Hope. In order to gain a better understanding of peer specialist training models existing around the country, staff compiled information summarizing other state-based programs. Recognizing the potential importance of this information to developers and implementers of the Peer Specialist Training and Certification Program across the United States, the information was organized into a comprehensive report.
Veterans Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery – In 2009, Texas received a Veteran’s Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop local infrastructure to divert individuals with mental health and/or substance use issues from the criminal justice system. Staff serve as lead evaluators, ensuring appropriate data collection and reporting to the federal cross-site evaluators as well as conducting a local level evaluation. Learn more.
Adult & Child Mental Health Projects
Texas Behavioral Health Clearinghouse – Developed through the Mental Health Transformation initiative, this website provides key information on repositories of evidence-based practices for the promotion of behavioral health, prevention of mental health and substance abuse problems, and treatment for behavioral health disorders. Targeting both consumers and providers of services, the website also features links to valuable resources for implementing evidence based and best practices and a searchable database of agencies offering these practices within the state. Access the Clearinghouse.
Texas Mental Health Transformation – The Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant (MHT SIG) is a five-year Texas Governor’s Office initiative funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to transform the state’s mental health service system. The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is the administrative home of the grant and supports the Transformation Working Group, which is comprised of 14 state agency representatives, legislative representatives, and consumer and family representatives. DSHS has contracted with staff to work with agencies to implement transformation projects, conduct assessments and evaluation of particular grant activities, and prepare and present reports on transformation progress and outcomes. Find out more.