MHA Houston Receives $2M to Help Transform Regional School Behavioral Health
HOUSTON, TX (March 16, 2016) – Mental Health America of Greater Houston has received more than $2 million from Houston Endowment to establish The Center for School Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston.
This award, disbursed over three years, will enable The Center to engage schools and child-serving organizations from every municipality and county in the Greater Houston region. It is expected to increase the capacity for prevention, early identification, and treatment of behavioral health concerns among students and transform the landscape of school behavioral health in the Greater Houston region.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports the onset of half of all mental illnesses occurs by age 14 and a total of 75% of these illnesses begin by age 24. According to Texans Care for Children, nine out of 10 students classified as having an emotional disturbance in Texas public schools were suspended or expelled from school. And, while rates in teen suicide in Texas have gone down in recent years, suicide remains the third leading cause of death in young people aged 15-24 in Texas.
Using the Collective Impact model, The Center for School Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston will serve as a “living laboratory” for incubating innovative, cost-effective and replicable best practices to improve the behavioral health of students, while also providing highly specialized professional development opportunities, technical assistance and community education, research, stigma reduction and awareness, advocacy, and policy analysis.
Mental Health America of Greater Houston, established in 1954 by philanthropist, Ima Hogg, is the area’s longest serving mental health education and advocacy organization focused on shaping the mental health of people and communities in the areas of children and education, integrated health care, chronic illnesses, women, suicide prevention, veterans and aging. www.mhahouston.org