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In this time of uncertainty, Integral Care wants anyone who is feeling anxious or overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic to call their 24/7 Helpline. A mental health professional will listen to them, support them without judgement and provide immediate emotional support. Call 512-472-HELP (4357) and press 1 for English, then 1 to talk to a mental health professional. The service is free, completely confidential, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Interpreters can provide support in multiple languages.

 

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, Integral Care’s 24/7 Helpline expanded its mental health support services. “During this time, we could all use some extra emotional support,” says Nicole Warren, Integral Care’s Helpline and Crisis Line Practice Manager. “You don’t have to wait for a crisis to call. If you’re worried about your emotional well-being or even someone else’s emotional well-being, give us a call anytime – day or night. We can work through it together.”

 

Integral Care continues to offer emergency mental health crisis response and intervention through the same Helpline number.

In April 2020, Integral Care received a grant of $20,000 from All Together ATX to help people with mental illness, substance use disorder, and intellectual and developmental disabilities weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will allow Integral Care to provide gift cards for groceries, assistance with rent and utilities, and help with prescription costs.

  • Integral Care will provide gift cards to HEB and Walmart so clients can purchase the food and supplies they need.
  • Clients who have lost work due to COVID-19 and are requesting financial assistance will provide a copy of their rent or utility bills and Integral Care will make a payment directly to the vendors.
  • Integral Care will cover the costs of prescriptions for established clients so they can continue their medications and stay healthy during this troubling time.

Through the All Together ATX grant program, our City leaders are using their nonprofit partners as a buffer against the worst impacts of the outbreak. They are relying on the expertise and experience of community-based institutions in the recovery effort that lies ahead. Integral Care is glad to be a part of this community-wide effort to help all members of our community weather the storm of COVID-19.

In April 2020, Integral Care received a $10,000 grant from the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation that allows our intellectual and developmental disabilities and homeless services teams to provide short-term assistance to mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 virus on the populations they serve.

 

In response to the COVID19 pandemic, Integral Care now provides most of its services via telehealth. However, many people experiencing homelessness do not own a phone and cannot access telehealth services. To ensure continuity of care, Integral Care is providing mobile phones to people experiencing homelessness. This means clients anywhere – even on the streets – can call in to a telehealth appointment and work with Integral Care staff to address their health needs. The grant will also allow Integral Care to deliver single occupancy tents and groceries to clients living on the street, allowing them to shelter in place and have their basic needs met.

 

Integral Care’s IDD Services Division provides people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the tools they need to live on their own while also offering extra help during times of crisis. Changes to grocery store and restaurant operations – including social distancing rules, modified schedules, and limited availability of certain products – may present unique challenges for this population. Staff have identified ten people with IDD who are currently struggling to get groceries, toiletries and cleaning supplies. The Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation grant allows staff to deliver groceries and other products during their regular visits throughout the shelter in place period.

Del Valle Independent School District (DVISD) received a Victims of Crime Act grant from the U.S. Department of Justice in the amount of $1,000,000.  DVISD contracted with Integral Care to expand its school-based mental health services. Integral Care has provided mental health services to students, families and staff in DVISD since 2013. With this grant, Integral Care will expand its services to nine elementary campuses and three alternative campuses, with a focus on supporting children and adults impacted by violent crime.

 

Integral Care will hire ten mental health professionals: six to serve students and four to provide support to family and school staff who are victims of crime. A program manager will provide oversight and supervise those providing direct mental health services. All staff will be trained to provide evidence-based psychotherapy that is trauma-informed and culturally competent.

In December 2019, Integral Care received a $523,413 grant from St. David’s Foundation to provide Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to 1,500 Central Texans annually for the next two years. MHFA is an evidence-based training that builds mental health literacy by teaching participants how to identify warning signs and symptoms of mental illness and apply a 5-step action plan to help individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.

 

St. David’s Foundation has supported Integral Care’s MHFA program since 2017. In 2018, Integral Care worked collaboratively with Bluebonnet Trails Community Services to provide MHFA training to 2,022 individuals in Travis, Williamson, and Bastrop Counties; last year, 2,059 individuals accessed MHFA training through Integral Care’s program.

 

Over the last several years, Integral Care has provided MHFA training to diverse audiences, including faith communities, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and departments, elected officials, and institutes of higher education. For this grant term, we plan to expand our outreach to focus on the private sector, increasing our community’s capacity to respond to a mental health crisis anywhere Central Texans live, learn, work, and play.

 

With a diverse corps of Mental Health First Aiders, we can reduce barriers to mental health care access throughout Central Texas. Building mental health literacy across our community – from nonprofit professionals and educators to business leaders and elected officials – helps to ensure that people living with mental illness and/or substance use disorder can get connected to the services they need.

In February 2020, Integral Care received a $25,000 grant award from the Montandon Charitable Trust to create a drop-in office space for 40 community-based staff in the Child and Family Services Division. This community workspace will offer opportunities for staff members to work in collaboration, sharing ideas and experiences that can help improve the services we provide to children with mental health, developmental, and behavioral challenges.

 

Staff who will utilize the drop-in space work with some of our highest need youth populations, including children enrolled in our Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) and Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Waiver programs. While community-based work is essential to meeting the needs of children and families in Early Childhood Intervention and YES Waiver programs, staff members face unique challenges to working outside a clinic.

 

Building a new drop-in office space is intended to increase staff engagement, build morale, and improve overall health outcomes for those we serve. When staff members have the opportunity to interact – whether in the break room, in a small meeting space, or with a visit to an adjacent cubicle, they can share their knowledge and work collaboratively to improve team performance.

In November, Integral Care received a $143,500 grant from the Meadows Foundation to renew the Healthy Transitions Program, a collaboration between Integral Care and The University of Texas at Austin that supports transition-age youth. Funding will allow Integral Care to hire four part-time, near-age peer support specialists who will serve as transition navigators for youth who are transitioning from Child and Family Services to Adult Behavioral Health services or young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 who are new to mental health services and engaging with Adult Behavioral Health services.

 

By connecting each youth with one of our trained, near-age peer support specialists, we anticipate that we will increase the number of individuals who attend their intake appointment with Adult Behavioral Health services and improve our retention rate for youth remaining in Adult Behavioral Health services.

 

As in Year One of the project, Integral Care will engage experts in the University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work to train the young adult peer support providers in the developmental needs of transition-age youth, effective engagement skills, and fidelity to the young adult peer model.

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.

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In September, Austin City Council passed its 2020 budget, with several provisions aimed at improving services for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The budget includes new funding commitments for Integral Care’s Expanded Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (EMCOT), mental health clinicians embedded at the 911 call center, additional mental health training for 911 dispatchers, a telehealth tool for first responders, and a staffing increase for Austin Travis County Emergency Medical Services Community Health Paramedics. These programs have already shown promise in improving crisis systems in our community.

 

EMCOT, which is jointly supported by the City of Austin (60% of funding) and Travis County (40% of funding), co-responds with law enforcement and EMS to divert individuals from emergency departments, arrest, involuntary commitments, and jail. Since the inception of the program in 2013, EMCOT has served 7,214 individuals and provided training for 1,500 law enforcement officers, EMS, and school resource officers.

 

City funding will also continue Integral Care’s successful telehealth pilot with Austin Police Department, helping to ensure access to care for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. If first responders recognize that an individual is having a mental health crisis, they can offer a telehealth option, allowing individuals to connect with a trained clinician to provide support. Clients who choose telehealth can speak with MCOT staff via iPad. Staff then provide assessment and triage, assist with safety planning, and link them to community resources such as the Judge Guy Herman Center for Mental Health Crisis Care or crisis residential care.

 

Starting in December, EMCOT team members will be stationed at the 911 Call Center, where mental health calls will be transferred by 911 call takers to EMCOT. This means quicker assessment and triage of a person’s situation and the level of care they need. Under the city’s new budget, EMCOT will add 4 full-time clinicians.

 

Integral Care appreciates our longstanding city and county collaboration to improve crisis services for all in our community

The Central Texas African American Family Support Conference provides opportunities to learn about mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, substance use disorder, co-occurring disorders and much more. The mission of the conference is to strengthen family and individual awareness of available behavioral and physical health care services through culturally sensitive education, supports, and partnerships.

Find out more about the conference here.
Join the Facebook group -> CLICK HERE

 

February 9, 2017

KVUE highlighted Integral Care’s soon-to come Housing First Oak Springs, a whole health treatment approach to ending chronic homelessness for people living with mental illness and/or substance use disorder. This 50-unit apartment community will provide housing to regain health and independence as well as offer access to an onsite clinic with counseling to support emotional health and drug and alcohol treatment to help with recovery.

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