a monthly newsletter from Integral Care

October 2021: Language Access & Racial Equity

October Transparencies banner

A Message From Our CEO

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, I’d like to reflect on Integral Care’s commitment to Spanish-language access and culturally competent care. Mental health conditions are on the rise in the Hispanic community and access to treatment is an issue. In 2018, nearly 60% of Hispanic young adults 18-25 and 40% percent of adults 26-49 with serious mental illness did not receive treatment. Integral Care is committed to breaking barriers to mental health care faced by this community.


Staff member with a client

First, some significant Travis County data. According to the Community Advancement Network (CAN), who closely track the health and wellness of our community by race and ethnicity, 34% of Travis County residents are Hispanic and 38% report that they speak English “less than very well”.


Integral Care believes that language access and person centered, culturally competent care lead to better health outcomes.

  • We aim to meet federal National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards. We have several workgroups focused on this these goals, including a Population Health and Data Workgroup, which has developed a Health Disparities Report Card. CLAS standards are reported to the board quarterly. The next presentation will be on October 28th at 5pm. Meetings are currently held in person at 1430 Collier Street, 78704, with limited capacity to support safety measures. We invite you to join us.
  • No matter the language a client speaks, we provide quick access to interpreters. Our Board-approved Language Access Plan helps ensure patient-centered communication. If staff who speak a client’s language are not available, we provide medically trained interpreters in person, over the phone or video. 15% of Integral Care staff test proficient in Spanish and receive a bilingual stipend. 
  • We provide written materials in Spanish, as well as a robust Spanish website.
  • We engage in Spanish-language community outreach so that people know where to access help when they need it. We’re grateful to Central Health, City of Austin, Travis County, Meals on Wheels and others who help us distribute materials that let people know about our 24/7 Helpline. Check out our latest Spanish outreach piece – a self-care refrigerator magnet. (If you’d like some for your organization, email us at with the number you’d like. English magnets are also available.)


Spanish-language access and person-centered, culturally competent care reduce health disparities and racial inequities for the Hispanic community and build a healthier Austin-Travis County. We are proud to ensure our increasingly diverse community receives appropriate care responsive to their needs.


David Evans
Chief Executive Officer


Solid Steps Towards Advancing Racial Equity


We have made significant progress towards our goal of discovering and eradicating our own institutional racism and structural inequities since we last updated you in July.


  • Integral Care invited the community to engage in an assessment of our services, policies and procedures, environment, workforce, and communication. We anticipate Smith Research and Consultant’s final report and recommendations by February. They’ve completed 22 interviews with key stakeholders – representatives from other organizations, advocacy, and interest groups. They are now conducting focus groups with clients in these populations: Arabic-speaking immigrants and refugees, LGBTQIA+, Spanish-speaking parents, Black, Latinx, transition-aged youth and clients with deafness.
  • Racial equity goals are integrated into the FY2022 business plan. Staff will track their progress towards goals, such as achieving a more inclusive workplace and addressing identified barriers to racial equity. One exciting goal – hiring an Equity Officer by the end of February to monitor initiatives and progress on Integral Care’s Racial Equity Plan.
  • Our Learning and Development team is working on a series of diversity, equity and inclusion trainings which will be required for all staff.


Integral Care is proud of the work we’re doing to create more equitable access to services and to continue to build an organization that values diversity and equity. We look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Proud Sponsor of NAMIWalks Your Way


What better way to celebrate Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct 3-9) than with fun photos of Integral Care family and friends (a.k.a. Team Incredibles) taking part in the recent NAMIWalks Your Way. Since NAMIWalkers were unable to join together in person for the usual walk to the Capitol, we were active in other ways to support mental health. We rode bikes, gardened, practiced yoga and more. Integral Care is proud to be an ongoing sponsor for the yearly event and to collaborate with NAMI-Central Texas (NAMI-CT) through community forums, mental health toolkits and more to build health and well-being in our community.


Thank you, NAMI-CT, for your incredible work providing advocacy, education, support and public awareness in our community. And thank you to the 134-strong Team Incredibles who participated in NAMIWalks 2021.


You Can Take Mental Health to the Next Level


Help us in Bridging the Gap! While Integral Care could not do the work we do without funding support from national, state, local sources and grants, our October fundraising campaign is aimed at bridging the gaps that our funding may not cover in areas such as:

  • Therapy supplies and basic needs for children and youth served in schools and clinics
  • Move-in kits for people experiencing homelessness who are moving into permanent housing
  • Mobile phones to help Integral Care clients access their appointments and services easily and quickly
  • Expansion of our food pantry that supports people living in permanent, supportive housing

Your generosity creates transformative change in individual lives, improving the well-being of our overall community. Make an impact. Be a champion for mental health.

Farewell, David Springer – Welcome, Deborah Smith

David Springer

We are truly grateful to David Springer, PhD for his 4 years of service as a member of our Board of Trustees. David is the Director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service and a Distinguished Professor at the University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs. The expertise he brought to our Board, particularly around juvenile justice and positive youth development, has been invaluable.


Deborah Smith

This month, Deborah Smith joins the Board. She is a digital media and documentary film producer who works to end racial, gender and economic inequality by creating powerful, authentic media while diversifying her industry through education and employment of low-income youth and young people of color. Deborah has worked for the Texas Facilities Commission Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Program and is a 2016 Central Health Community Health Champion.


We would also like to recognize Luanne Southern and Sarah Llamas Churchill who were re-appointed to another term on our Board by the City of Austin. Thank you for continuing your service to Integral Care and the people that we serve.


Luanne Southern

Luanne Southern

Sarah Llamas Churchill

Sarah Llamas Churchill

What’s New at Integral Care


  • Integral Care continues to do everything we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support the health and safety of our clients and employees. We currently offer testing and vaccines for staff and clients.
  • SAMHSA awarded Integral Care $5 million over 2 years for the Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) program. The purpose of funding is to enable CMHCs to support and restore the delivery of clinical services impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and effectively address the needs of individuals with serious emotional disturbance (SED), serious mental illness (SMI), and individuals with SMI or SED and substance use disorders, referred to as co-occurring disorder.
  • SAMHSA also awarded us a 5-year grant of $125,000 per year for Mental Health Awareness Training for military personnel, Veterans, their families, and service providers who work with military personnel/Veterans.
  • If you missed Meaningful Steps to Prevent Youth Suicide, last week’s community forum co-presented with the Central Texas Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, click here to check it out.
  • Please encourage your clients of behavioral health services to take this Austin Public Health (APH) survey. This survey will help APH understand the community’s priorities for services and programs and will inform APH’s next funding solicitation. Survey deadline is 5pm on October 15th. For any questions or concerns, please contact
  • We invite you to join us for any of our monthly meetings. Meetings are currently held in person at 1430 Collier Street, 78704, with limited capacity to support safety measures. Agendas are posted the week of the meeting. Follow the links below for agendas.
    Board Meetings – October 28th, last Thursdays of each month at 5pm
    Finance Committee Meetings – October 21st, 3rd Thursdays of each month at 5pm
    Planning and Operations Meetings – October 19th, 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 5:30pm


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