A monthly newsletter from Integral Care

Supporting BIPOC Mental Health through Data

A Message From Our CEO

July is BIPOC Mental Health Month, formally recognized as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to promote mental health among Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and raise awareness around the unique mental health struggles these communities face in the U.S. Discrimination, unequal access to care, a lack of culturally and linguistically competent care and additional stigma all contribute to mental health disparities for BIPOC communities.


Integral Care is committed to eradicating our own institutional racism and structural inequities. One way we are working toward this goal is through our racial equity work. We are focused on reducing disparities and achieving racial equity in the care we provide through data that identifies, monitors and responds to racial disparities. Most recently, we’ve taken a close look at our work across substance use treatment, schizophrenia diagnoses and Conduct and Oppositional Defiant Disorders diagnoses.


Substance Use Disorder
According to the Yale School of Medicine, in 2018, only 18% of people identified as needing substance use treatment received it. The gap is even greater in minority communities. As of 2018, 92% of Latinx individuals and 90% of Black/African Americans diagnosed with a substance use disorder were unable to receive addiction treatment. Our Population Health team conducted an analysis around the utilization of substance use treatment services relative to overall Integral Care programs and national data around health disparities in substance use treatment. The health disparity findings resulted in targeted interventions to prioritize outreach to Black/African American clients with opioid use disorder to reduce identified disparities within the utilization of specialty substance use treatment services. A live dashboard was created for case managers to identify clients with an opioid diagnosis who are not enrolled in opioid services for the purpose of targeted outreach and engagement.


Schizophrenia Diagnosis
Multiple studies on implicit bias have shown that Black patients are more likely to be (mis)diagnosed with schizophrenia than non-Hispanic White patients when accounting for symptomatology using standardized diagnostic criteria. Our Population Health Administrator performed an in-depth analysis of the 1,417 criminal justice involved individuals served by our ANEW and Mental Health Bond programs in Fiscal Year 2020. The chart below shows the racial disparity in our client population:

These findings were presented to leadership from Travis County Probation, Travis County Pre-Trial Services, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Parole and Travis County Jail and initiated conversation about strategies to address the array of racial disparities in the local criminal justice system of care.


In 2019, Integral Care also partnered with Dell Medical School to launch an initiative to address the over diagnosis of schizophrenia in Black/African American males – by using a differential diagnosis form in the Integral Care electronic health record (EHR) system. In late 2020, a series of differential diagnosis questions went live in the Integral Care EHR to prompt clinicians to pause and consider other diagnoses before making a schizophrenia diagnosis. Since implementation, we have seen a downward trend in disparate diagnosis rates.


Conduct and Oppositional Defiant Disorders Diagnoses
In fall 2021, our Population Health Administrator produced an analysis of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) diagnoses among children and youth. Studies indicate that diagnostic and implicit bias contribute to higher rates of these diagnoses among racial minorities, leading to differences in diagnosis and appropriate treatment. As of August 2020, Integral Care’s service data reflected this disparity with Hispanic children representing more than half of all active ODD and CD diagnoses and African American children representing one-third of all such diagnoses. In any given year, two-thirds of all ODD and CD diagnoses are assigned to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) clients. Informed by this data, Integral Care launched new clinical initiatives to address diagnostic disparities among BIPOC youth. Since then, the overall rate of new oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder diagnoses has dropped, with the largest decreases observed among BIPOC children and youth.


This work is paramount to our success ensuring the advancement of equity while improving client health outcomes, improving community health and building equity strategies with our community collaborators.

David Evans
Chief Executive Officer

Transparencies Archive

Past Transparencies sorted by year


June 2022: Celebrating Pride Month

April-May 2022: Looking Ahead to Mental Health Month

March 2022: Honoring Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

February 2022: Strengthening Our Network of Mental Health Support

January 2022: Looking Ahead in 2022


December 2021: Celebrating Progress & Innovation in 2021

November 2021: Action Steps Toward Preventing and Ending Homelessness

October 2021: Language Access & Racial Equity

September 2021: Treatment & Addiction Psychiatry at Integral Care

August 2021: Returning to School plus the Legislative Wrap-up

July 2021: Creating Lasting Change for BIPOC Mental Health

June 2021: Facts & Resources This Pride Month

May 2021: Mental Health Month

April 2021: How do we help Austinites experiencing homelessness?

March 2021: Growth and Positive Change

February 2021: How Do We Create a Better Future?

January 2021: Looking Ahead to the Legislative Session


December 2020: Supporting Your Mental Health This Winter

November 2020: How do we rebuild health and well-being during a pandemic?

October 2020: With Collaboration Comes Innovation

September 2020: Success Stories of Recovery and Suicide Prevention

August 2020: A Back to School Season Like Never Before

July 2020: Minority Health Disparities & COVID-19

June 2020: Stronger Together

May 2020: Surviving and Thriving During Uncertain Times

April 2020: Persevering During COVID-19

March 2020: Collaborations and Initiatives to Improve Health for the IDD Population

February 2020:Solutions to Health and Health Care Disparities

January 2020: Sucicide Prevention a Local Effort


December 2019: A Year of Thriving Care & Collaboration

November 2019: Teamwork and Collaboration Impact Homelessness in Travis County

October 2019:Making Strides for World Mental Health

September 2019: Taking Steps to Recovery Support

August 2019: Working Together for Child & Youth Mental Health

July 2019: Legislative Wrap-Up – Some Bipartisan Wins for Healthcare

June 2019: Strengthening Access for Veterans and the Entire Military Family

May 2019: Women and Mental Health

April 2019: Legislative Session Status Report

March 2019: Making Opportunities for Recovery More Accessible

February 2019: Recovery is Possible

January 2019: Stronger Outcomes Through Collaboration

December 2018: Looking ahead to the 86th Texas Legislature

November 2018: How Tech is Changing the Face of Mental Health

October 2018: A Few Questions Could Help Save a Life

September 2018: Anyone Can Save a Life

August 2018: A Milestone Moment

July 2018: Equity in Mental Health Care for All

June 2018: Expanding Services for Veterans


May 2018: Your Mental Health Toolkit

April 2018: Time of Terror Calls for Increased Emotional Support

March 2018: Stopping the cycle of incarceration for individuals with mental illness

February 2018: Equity in mental healthcare for everyone

January 2018 : Improving Mental Health Through Partnership & Collaboration


December 2017: Strength Through Community

November 2017 : Healthy Lifestyles Improve Well-Being

October 2017 : National Child Health Day

September 2017 : Strengthening Families and Communities

Highlight: BIPOC Mental Health Resources

We’ve put together a list of helpful resources for BIPOC individuals seeking support for their mental health and well-being. While this is certainly not exhaustive, we hope that you find it helpful in seeking help or sharing with friends, family and the community.

BIPOC Mental Health Video Series

Mental health stigma is prevalent everywhere but unique perceptions and barriers to care exist based on history, culture and background. For example, in the Black community, mistrust of the medical system and hesitation around taking medication is common because of the Tuskegee Study and other unethical medical experiments. In the Latinx community, there can be a lack of understanding about what mental health is or discomfort asking for help or sharing problems with strangers.


In this video series, Integral Care staff talk about mental health in different cultures. The videos are in multiple languages including Spanish, Mandarin, Urdu, Arabic and Hindi.

24/7 Helpline – Free emotional support in many languages

Integral Care | (512) 472-HELP (4357)
24 hours a day, 7 days a week | Trained interpreters available


Mental health care, counseling, substance use disorder and IDD services in many languages
Integral Care | (512) 472-HELP (4357)
Call for an appointment Mon – Fri, 8am – 5pm


For People of Color: Healing justice social movement providing mental health awareness
What’sintheMirror?Comprehensive Austin Mental Wellness Database and healing through art


For Asian communities: Access to emergency shelter, housing, safety planning, counseling, healthcare navigation services and more
Asian Family Support Services of Austin | (877) 281-8371
Toll-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week | Services in various languages

Austin Asian Community Health Initiative | (512) 271-5823 | Services in 7 languages

For Black community and beyond: Monthly virtual forums to support health and well-being

Together We Will Heal | Facebook group


For Muslim community: Resources for low-income people, refugees and victims of domestic violence
Muslim Community Support Services | 512-240-2257


Additional resources
Integral Care Mental Health Resource Guide
Finding a BIPOC Therapist

Highlight: Integral Care Staff Present at the 2022 Texas Council Conference

Last month, many of our staff presented at the Texas Council Conference. Louise Lynch, Provider Network & Authority Officer, David Weden, Chief Administrative Officer/Chief Financial Officer, Kathleen Casey, PhD, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Development, and Emmitt Hayes, Vice Chair, Integral Care Board of Trustees, led a discussion on racial and health equity in behavioral health. In it, they shared their experience, offered a framework for other organizations to use in their self-assessment, and provided tools to increase racial equity.


Stacy Spencer, MS, LCSW-S, Practice Administrator, and Brittany Whittington, MSW, Population Health Administrator, presented their poster on “Addressing Racial Disproportionality in Diagnosis Research.” It covered national and agency data on the disproportionate diagnosis of African American youth with Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder, current studies and discussion, and the steps Integral Care has taken to address the issue.


Bryan Camphire, Crisis Services Supervisor, IDD Division, presented a poster on the IDD Criminal Justice Work Group. In his presentation, he discussed how people with IDD are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and how Integral Care’s partnership with the Travis County District Attorney’s office is working to help justice-involved people with IDD live healthy lives in the community and minimize recidivism.


Tracy Abzug, LCSW, Practice Administrator, and Lyn Shepherd, LPC, Program Manager, gave a presentation titled “What is our Worth? An Economic Evaluation.” In it, they shared the results of a return-on-investment study that analyzed cost savings created for the healthcare system and for Integral Care by using a 16-bed residential program in Austin.


Marisa Aguilar Malik, MA, LPC, Practice Administrator of Crisis Services, helped lead a session on “Collaborative Strategies with Criminal Justice at Early SIM Intercepts.” The sessions focused on efforts to embed clinicians within local 911 call centers, training programs developed to assist local 911 operators, alternative response team strategies and more.

Samantha Bond, Practice Manager – YES Waiver/Intensive Case Management, TCOOMMI & Parenting in Recovery, participated in a session on “Parenting in Recovery: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach,” which discussed the successes and lessons learned from the Parenting in Recovery program.

What's New:

Together We Will Heal forum

Join us on July 20th at 12:45 p.m. for our next Together We Will Heal forum. Every month, the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference brings you a relaxed and engaging forum to support the health and well-being of our entire community. This month’s forum, Faith and Mental Health: Islamic Perspective, will be led by Sheeza Mohsin, CEO & Executive Director, Muslim Community Center for Human Services, Latifah Hameen, Certified Life and Relationship Coach, Certified Domestic Abuse Awareness Trainer and Imam Khalid Shaheed, Imam Emeritus of Dallas Masjid Al Islam and founder of Muslim Alliance for Black Lives.

LGBTQIA+ Youth Community Forum


In case you missed our Supporting the Mental Health & Well-Being of LGBTQIA+ Youth Community Forum, watch it here and share with others who might be interested. Special thanks to OutYouth for co-presenting the forum.