Texoma’s Piece of Mind
THF Hosts our 1st Mental Health Conference
Texoma’s Piece of MIND was both a celebration of the recent launch of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute for Texas, and an important opportunity to bring together stakeholders to address mental health needs here at home.
Honorary speakers Dr. Chris Cline from the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, Representative Larry Phillips and Sonja Gaines, Associate Commissioner for Mental Health at HHSC spent the day with conference participants who were considered to all be “pieces of the puzzle”. The Austin College IDEA Center was filled with leaders including, but not limited to, representatives from mental health, the healthcare safety-net system, education, law enforcement, government and workforce.
The conference mirrored the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute’s recent launch held in Austin by centering around three main mental health focus areas: Children, Veterans, and Smart Justice.
“Texoma’s dialogue is exactly the type of discussion that goes straight to the heart of the stigma issue. Our state’s challenges in mental health won’t be solved if we sit in silence.” said Phil Ritter, Chief Operating Officer of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.
The conference was designed to be interactive. THF collected surveys weeks before the event in order to post a “gaps chart” the day of the meeting. The chart listed needs and
provided space for participants to write services/solutions already in existence in the community. The surveys also supported the launch of an area mental health service map to connect facilities and patients, as well as better understand services available by payor type. This project was made possible due to collaboration from Austin College and the Texoma Council of Government’s GIS Department who have both been amazing to work with.
The mapping project will be provided to the 2-1-1 Call Center for the general public and will also be available as a pilot project to other counties in Texas who are interested in duplication through the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.
Texoma Health Foundation would like to give a special thank you to the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, Austin College, TMC’s Behavioral Health Center, JP Morgan, TCOG, Frances Pelley and our own, Brett Graham for their contribution in making Texoma’s Piece of MIND a success.
PICTURES: (1) Marilyn Bice presenting THF’s Area Mental Health Service Maps created in partnership with TCOG and Austin College (2) Brett Graham at work with the Justice Panel (3) Our Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute Team who inspired us all—left to right: Lyria Howland, Dr. Chris Cline and Coby Chase with Michelle Lemming (4) Participant viewing Gaps Chart posted by focus area (5) Frances Pelley preparing for the Veterans’ panel with panelists Jimmy Petty and our honorary Veteran battling post-traumatic stress. (6) Texas Veterans App presented as a “sneak peek” at the conference by honorary speaker Sonja Gaines, Associate Commissioner of Mental Health at HHSC