Integral Care, the Local Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority for Travis County, announced today the appointment of Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez to its Board of Trustees. The appointment was a result of Senate Bill 632, which promotes Local Mental Health Authority (LMHA) cooperation with the criminal justice system by directing all LMHAs to appoint a sheriff or sheriff’s representative to their local governing board as an ex officio non-voting member.
Sheriff Hernandez has worked in law enforcement for 38 years, over 30 of them in Travis County. She has committed herself to addressing the criminalization of people living with mental illness. Sheriff Hernandez supports efforts around diversion by building and maintaining relationships with mental health services and providers. She co-chaired The Children’s Mental Health Crisis Services Task Force with Integral Care Trustee Emmitt Hayes to analyze our community’s current system and identify opportunities for improvement for children experiencing a mental health crisis. The Sheriff is also a member of the Psychiatric Stakeholders Services Committee, a forum for key mental health stakeholders to strengthen the local mental health crisis system, with a focus on unfunded populations.
“Integral Care is thrilled that our long-time partner and friend Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez is joining our Board of Trustees. Her expertise in the intersection of criminal justice and mental illness will bring a unique perspective to our work improving the lives of adults and children living with mental illness, substance use disorder and intellectual and developmental disabilities. Sheriff Hernandez joins a dedicated board with diverse backgrounds in health care, management, rehabilitation services and criminal justice, who all work tirelessly to help Integral Care achieve our mission of healthy living for everyone.”
– David Evans, Integral Care CEO
Sheriff Hernandez is committed to supporting individuals experiencing mental health issues and improving how both deputies on the streets and corrections officers in our jails respond to people in crisis. Under her leadership, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office partnered with Integral Care and NAMI Central Texas to improve outcomes for inmates living with mental health issues through a number of training and classes for corrections officers, inmates and their families.
- In 2014, Integral Care started providing mental health crisis training to Travis County Sheriff’s Office deputies and corrections officers, training 238 people in FY18 and FY19. In 2017, a specialized training was added for all Travis County Sheriff’s Office deputies and corrections officers specifically focused on suicide prevention and how to utilize Integral Care’s Expanded Mobile Crisis Team.
- In 2017, Integral Care began offering trainings to Travis County Sheriff’s Office corrections officers and Crisis Intervention Team officers focused on individuals living with an intellectual or developmental disability who also intersect with the criminal justice system. To date, Integral Care has provided almost 50 trainings.
- In 2017, Integral Care began offering Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) at the Travis County Correctional Complex. MHFA is a class that teaches people how to help someone experiencing a mental health crisis or showing signs of a mental health issue. To date, Integral Care has trained almost 100 Travis County Sheriff’s Office corrections officers, staff and inmates.
“I’m honored to join Integral Care’s Board of Trustees. Integral Care and the Travis County Sheriff’s office work in partnership together to improve the health and well-being of our community, specifically those impacted by mental illness and criminal justice. We are helping individuals experiencing mental illness rebuild their health, providing them with resources that will keep a crisis from leading to an arrest. This benefits everyone in our community.”
– Sheriff Sally Hernandez, Travis County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Hernandez’s first board meeting at Integral Care is tomorrow, October 31st.