MENTAL HEALTH CONNECTION

Who We Are

(members)

Our Focus

(strategic plan)

Actions

(committees)

Members collaborating to revolutionize the mental health service system in Tarrant County, by developing long-term changes in the system while addressing emerging needs.

MENTAL HEALTH CONNECTION TIMELINE

The Start

Mental health providers accepted the challenge when Fort Worth Mayor Kenneth Barr asked them to create a plan for improving access to quality mental health services in Tarrant County for citizens of all ages.

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Sixteen beds for adolescents

Tarrant County Hospital District approved funding to re-open the Adolescent Psychiatric Unit in the Trinity Springs Pavilion in response to a request by MHC which highlighted community need. 

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Texas Integrated Funding Initiative (TIFI) Grant

Texas Integrated Funding Initiative (TIFI) grant of $203,000 awarded to the MHC collaboration by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services for the administration of wraparound services through Lena Pope.

Federal System of Care Grant Proposal

Community leaders and local foundations developed a proposal for a federal System of Care grant.  Mayor Kenneth Barr led delegations to Washington, D.C. to educate elected officials about the need for mental health services in Tarrant County.

First System of Care Grant - "Community Solutions"

Community Solutions, a six-year $9.5million System of Care Grant from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) was awarded to the City of Fort Worth on behalf of MHC.

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Report Card to the Community

Over 400 people attended "Report Card to the Community" held at the Fort Worth Convention Center.  Senator Mike Moncrief, Representative Charlie Geren, Mayor Kenneth Barr and family members reported on the status of mental health services in Tarrant County.

"No Wrong Door" Curriculum Created

MHC, with leadership from the staff of The Bridge, United Way 211, The Women's Center, MHMR of Tarrant County and others created a curriculum for training front-line staff in the No Wrong Door approach.

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Family Resource Center

MHC collaborated with Fort Worth ISD to open the first Family Resource Center (FRC) at Riverside Middle School.  FRCs are campus-based centers which provide behavioral healthcare and family support.  Member agencies relocate staff to provide services in the centers.  

Public Attitude About Mental Health Survey

MHC contracted with the University of Texas to conduct a public attitude survey in Tarrant County to determine the community's view of mental illness.

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First Anti-Stigma Campaign Launched - "Open Minds Open Doors"

Community Solutions funded the creation and production of the award-winning "Open Minds Open Doors" anti-stigma campaign.

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Fine Line Exhibit

MHC partnered with Fort Worth Museum of Science and History to host Fine Line:  Mental Health/Mental Illness, a photographic exhibit by San Antonio attorney Michael Nye.  Over 75,000 people visited the exhibit.

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Three Year Strategic Plan

MHC member agencies developed a 3-year strategic plan.

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"We Need to Talk" Policy Luncheon and Roundtable

MHC hosted a luncheon for business leaders to discuss the economic impact of mental health/mental illness in Tarrant County. 

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Evidence-Based Practices Survey

A survey of evidence-based practices in our community was conducted as a baseline for our work kicked-off by the symposium in June 2007.

First Bridging the Gap Symposium - "Research, Practice and Policy"

MHC partnered with Texas Christian University to host a series of symposiums on bridging the gaps between research, practice and policy.

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Learning Communities Established

Six diverse learning communities were established following the symposium to continue community learning:  Internalizing Disorders; Externalizing Disorders; Pervasive Developmental Disorders; Prevention and At-Risk Youth; Trauma; and Addictions.  Each group spent six months reviewing literature on their topic with the goal of making a recommendation of a new evidence-based practice to be implemented in Tarrant County.

Mental Wellness in the Workplace

During 2007, MHC engaged Tarrant County's large employers in conversations about mental health issues in the workplace.

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Learning Communities Recommendations

After completing six months of literature review on specific mental health topics, the learning communities established after the first Bridging the Gap Symposium in June 2007 provided their recommendations for new evidence-based practices to be implemented in Tarrant County.

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Stay on TRAC

Recommended by the Addictions Learning Community as a preventive approach to teenage alcohol use.  ACH Child and Family Services, Lena Pope, Santa Fe Youth Services, and MHMR Youth Recovery Campus provided services at no charge in the Keller ISD.

Second Federal System of Care Grant - Hand in Hand

Second System of Care grant, Hand in Hand, was awarded to MHMR of Tarrant County on behalf of MHC.  The $8.3 million grant provided services for children 0-6 years old in Tarrant, Hood, Johnson, Parker, and Palo Pinto counties.

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Research Roundtables

Hosted Research Roundtables to share research of local professionals from University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Christian University, University of North Texas Health Science Center, and Texas Wesleyan University with MHC membership.

Journal Clubs

Journal Clubs formed to continue literature review and community learning.

CBT Training

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) training and implementation with Peter Jensen, MD of The REACH Institute.

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Tarrant Cares Launch

Tarrant Cares, a web-based data base of local health and human services, was launched.

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Transformation Bureau

Transformation Bureau - 50 emerging leaders from MHC member agencies were selected to participate in a 2-day leadership program.

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Cultural Connection

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National Child Traumatic Stress Network

MHC was selected as a Learning Community by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's Complex Trauma Treatment Network.  Dr. Brad Stolbach, University of Chicago, served as consultant.

Search Conference

Search Conference conducted by Ellen Kagen, Georgetown University, resulting in development of the Mental Health Connection 5-year Strategic Plan.

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Join the Conversation: Understanding and Supporting LBGTQ Youth

Over 90 people attended the forum held with Caitlin Ryan, PhD.  MHC also hosted a workshop for families of LBGTQ youth the evening prior to the forum.

NE Wisconsin Mental Health Connection

MHC began formal mentoring relationship with the NE Wisconsin Mental Health Connection which organized after visiting Tarrant County.  They are using the MHC collaboration as their model.

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Five Year Strategic Plan

Implementation of new 5-year Strategic Plan.

Child Welfare League of America Award

CWLA presented MHC with an award for its work across sectors.  The award recognizes the collaboration among agencies and others in Tarrant County that brings vital resources to the community while sharing knowledge and expertise.

Healthy Community Collaboration

Mental Health Connection partnered with MHMR of Tarrant County to expand capacity of staff and resources to serve the mental health needs of the homeless through a $8.3 million contract with DSHS.

Recognize Trauma Marketing Campaign

Marketing campaign launched as part of our goal to become a trauma-informed community.

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Recognize Trauma Symposium

First annual Recognize Trauma Symposium held with Kenneth Ginsburg, MD from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  More than 800 people attended.

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Reaching Teens Pilot Kick-Off

Began pilot program to implement the strengths-based, trauma-informed, Reaching Teens curriculum for building resiliency among adolescents.  

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Fine Line Exhibit

Fine Line Exhibit presented by MHC and JPS Health Network at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.  More than 40 educational programs were provided by MHC member agencies.

Frank M. Adams Award

Frank M. Adams award presented to MHC by the Texas Council of Community Centers for outstanding community volunteer service.

Learning Community on LBGTQ Issues

A learning community to address LBGTQ issues was implemented.  The learning community is a key component of the MHC Cultural Connection Committee.

Paving the Way

A third System of Care Grant, Paving the Way, was awarded $4 million by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  The grant will end in 2018.

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Recognize Trauma Symposium - "Collaborative Problem Solving"

Second annual Recognize Trauma Symposium hosted by MHC.  The symposium focused on collaborative problem solving with Stuart Ablon, PhD, Harvard University presenting.

Fine Line Exhibit Returns

With support from JPS Health Network, MHC once again hosted the Fine Line Exhibit at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.  In addition to the exhibit, educational programs and special events were provided at the museum to educate the public about mental health.

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Trauma-Informed Survey

MHC Trauma Committee surveyed member agencies to determine progress on becoming a trauma-informed community.

Recognize Trauma Symposium - "Adverse Childhood Experiences"

Over 1,000 people attended the third annual Recognize Trauma symposium hosted by MHC.  The symposium focused on adverse childhood experiences and included presentations by Vincent Felitti, MD and Harold Urschel, MD. 

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Surpass 600 Practitioners Trained in CBMCS

Over 600 area practitioners have completed 32 hours of CBMCS multicultural training conducted by MHC Cultural Connection Committee volunteers.  The training if focused on improving cultural competence in providers.  

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Mental Health Connection Website

Mental Health Connection launches new website.

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1st Intake Staff Network Meeting

MHC Access Committee and member agency intake staff work together to share concerns, generate ideas, and increase networking to enhance access to community services.  Due to high benefit, intake network meetings are now scheduled on a quarterly basis.

Neuroscience of Decision-Making Seminar

An interactive course where over 240 participants explored how various regions of our brain work together to affect decision-making processes and determination of fairness.  

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"Let's Work Together" Advocacy Legislative Breakfast

MHC Board and Advocacy Committee members host a breakfast with legislators in Austin to share the impact and prevalence of mental health and substance abuse issues in Tarrant County.

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Completion of Reaching Teens Three-Year Pilot

Partnering with Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg and the American Academy of Pediatrics, MHC completed a 3-yr community-wide implementation and assessment of the Reaching Teens curriculum focused on teen trauma and resilience. 

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1.5 Million Visits to Tarrant Cares Website in 2017

There were over 1.5 million visits to the TarrantCares.org website in 2017.  Mental Health Connection provides oversight for this Tarrant County network of care website.  

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System of Care Report

Mental Health Connection was the governing body for three consecutive system of care grants to build infrastructure and provide services for mental health.

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THE PROGRAMS, INITIATIVES, EVENTS, AND PROJECTS THAT HIGHLIGHT THE HISTORY OF MENTAL HEALTH CONNECTION.

Contact Us

MENTAL HEALTH CONNECTION
3200 Sanguinet Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Patsy Thomas, President

For more information call: 817.927.5200 or email: contact@mentalhealthconnection.org

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