Mental Health Month 2014



How to Get Help

If you or your child need help, please contact your pediatrician or physician, or your local community mental health center.

To find your local community mental health center, search by county, city, or zip code at

May is National Mental Health Month with the following special observances taking place throughout the month:

Patient and Family Education Resources

The resources listed at are designed to help individuals and their families become better-informed about mental health issues. 

2014 Mental Health Month Contests!

The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division of the DSHS and the Texas System of Care are hosting the Third Annual Statewide Creativity Contest to promote Children’s Mental Health Week, May 4-10, 2014.  There are three categories: Writing, Poster, and Kite Construction.  Winners will be recognized in each category on Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, May 8, 2014, and their work will be displayed at the Texas State Capitol in an exhibit promoting Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, as well as appearing on both the DSHS and Texas System of Care sites ( and  The top submissions in each category will also be included in a survey distributed to participating schools and communities so that participants may vote on the winning entries.  The survey will be available under “Art Contest” by mid-April at

  • In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, the Texas Department of State Health Services Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division, Mental Health America of Texas, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Texas are holding their 3rd annual statewide poetry contest open to adults with or in recovery from mental illness and their adult family members and friends.

Mental Health Initiatives

Throughout the year, DSHS works with state and federal partners and communities throughout Texas to support and enhance the availability of Mental Health services. Summary information on some of these initiatives is below:

Medicaid 1115 Transformation Waiver

Texas has a five-year Medicaid demonstration waiver (through September 30, 2016) that will enable hospitals, community mental health centers and other providers to earn up to $11.4 billion all funds for Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) projects.  DSRIP projects are designed to improve Texas’ health care delivery system, including access to care, quality of care, and health outcomes.

Texas emphasized behavioral healthcare in developing the waiver. Of the 1322 DSRIP projects submitted for federal consideration, 366 projects (over 27% of them) relate to behavioral healthcare and request to earn almost $2.1 billion all funds over four years. Initial federal approval is targeted for May 31, 2013.  DSHS worked closely with HHSC in developing the menu of behavioral health DSRIP options and reviewing projects submitted. See for more information.

Youth Suicide Prevention Project

Funded through a grant by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this program involves suicide prevention activities within several communities in Texas with higher suicide rates than the national average. The project provides training for key community leaders and health professionals in recognizing warning signs of suicide and referring youth to appropriate help, and evaluates strategies to provide screening for suicide risk and follow-up for youth seen in medical settings. Supported by the Youth Suicide Prevention Project and a grant from the Department of State Health Services, Mental Health America of Texas has posted the “Coming Together to Care” Suicide Prevention Toolkit, which can be found at

Read more about DSHS’s suicide prevention efforts in "Lone Star State Engages the Public in Suicide Prevention" (PDF).

Systems of Care

The Systems of Care framework ( is already working in communities across the state, both urban and rural, from the Rural Children’s Initiative in northwest Texas, to Ft. Worth and  its surrounding counties, to Houston, to the far west edge of the state in El Paso, to Central Texas. Now we need to make sure all Texas children and youth in need have access to a coordinated service delivery system.

That’s what Texas System of Care is all about. Texas partners are coming together to identify ways to help local communities address the needs of children and youth with serious mental health concerns using a system of care approach.

Texas System of Care is led by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Department of State Health Services, and the University of Texas at Austin, Center for Social Work Research in collaboration with child-serving state agencies, family and youth advocacy organizations and other stakeholders within the Texas children’s mental health service delivery system.

Via Hope: Texas Mental Health Resource

Via Hope ( provides training, technical assistance and consultation to individuals in recovery from mental illness, their family members, youth who are interested in mental health, organizations and mental health professionals throughout the state of Texas. Via Hope is working to transform the Texas mental health system into one that fosters resilience, promotes recovery, is person-centered, and is consumer, youth and family-driven.

Raising Texas 

The Raising Texas initiative (  is a collaborative effort of government agencies, families, community organizations and other stakeholders, all working toward a goal of coordinating and strengthening Texas’ system of services so all children in Texas enter school healthy and ready to learn. Focused on children under the age of 6, the Raising Texas initiative has identified four primary areas: access to insurance and a medical home, social-emotional development and mental health, early care and education, and parent education and family support.

Community Resources Coordinating Groups

Community Resource Coordination Groups (known as CRCGs) are local interagency groups, comprised of public and private providers who come together to develop individual services plans for children, youth, and adults whose needs can be met only through interagency coordination and cooperation. CRCGs originated when the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 298 into law in 1987. This bill directed state agencies serving children to develop a community-based approach to better coordinate services for children and youth who have multi-agency needs and require interagency coordination. Find out more at

Connecting to Mental Health Month via Social Media


Use the hashtag #mentalhealthmonth or visit the twitter feeds below:


Last updated November 9, 2015