September is both National Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention Month, a time to highlight that recovery from substance use disorder is possible and suicide is preventable – especially when we come together.
A monthly newsletter from Integral Care
Coming Together on the Road to Recovery & Suicide Prevention
A Message From Our CEO
A substance use disorder is a medical condition where someone uses one or more substances like painkillers, drugs or alcohol, that negatively impact their life. It’s a brain-based disorder, not a character flaw. Substance use disorder affects people of all ages, from all walks of life.
As the opioid epidemic continues to impact so many, we want to recognize all the dedicated service providers and organizations across our community who are working to improve access to the system of substance use care in Austin-Travis County. We are grateful to live in a community where there are many organizations that are committed to this work and therefore many different care options for those struggling with an opioid addiction – wherever they are on their own road to recovery. Integral Care is proud to offer several substance use disorder treatment programs to support our community. The services they provide include outpatient care, counseling, prevention education, peer support, medications that reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, psychiatric medications, group therapy and connection to other community supports.
Suicide prevention is another area in which we know we are stronger as a collective. Integral Care, alongside Ascension-Seton, is proud to lead the Austin-Central Texas Suicide Prevention Coalition, which is a collaboration of local government agencies, healthcare providers, schools and community-based organizations working to reduce suicides through advocacy efforts, implementation of evidence-based strategies and trainings for schools, mental health service providers and the community. On Wednesday, September 28th at noon, we invite you to join us for a Spanish Community Forum – Meaningful Steps to Preventing Suicide Among Latinx Youth, co-presented with NAMI Central Texas. Experts from across Travis County will discuss stigma related to mental health and suicide in the Latinx culture, signs and symptoms of suicide, how to create a safe space to talk to youth about suicide, and more – all from a Latinx perspective. Prevention is possible. Register here.
The last few years have taken a toll on many of us – physically, mentally and emotionally – but I am hopeful now more than ever that when we work together, healing can happen. Recovery from a substance use disorder is possible and suicide is preventable. As we look to the future, one thing is undeniable – access to substance use treatment, mental health support and suicide prevention services save lives and help people reach their full potential.
Chief Executive Officer
Past Transparencies sorted by year
August 2022: Expanding Access to Critical Mental Health Support
July 2022: Supporting BIPOC Mental Health through Data
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: Narcotic Treatment Program (NTP)
Integral Care has been providing substance use disorder treatment in Travis County for over 50 years and our Narcotic Treatment Program has been Joint Commission Accredited for 22 years. We are committed to supporting those who have been impacted by the opioid crisis and improving the health of our community. In FY21, Integral Care provided 30,616 substance use treatment services and distributed 579 Overdose Reversal Kits, which saved 66 lives through successful overdose reversal.
Our Narcotic Treatment Program helps people who use opioids. Services include:
• Daily visits with a nurse for medicine (methadone or buprenorphine)
• Recovery skills to manage and stop substance use
• Individual and group counseling
• Education, including harm reduction best practices
• Peer recovery coaching
• Mental health care
• Transitional Housing/Recovery Housing
• Help meeting basic needs and getting connected to resources
Our experienced team works closely with our clients to develop trust and create individualized treatment plans that support recovery and improve overall health and well-being. By meeting them where they are on their journey and taking a whole-person approach, we aim to create a pathway to additional prevention, treatment and recovery services. Most importantly, we work to ensure the safety of those we serve. The Narcotic Treatment Program is regulated and governed by the Drug Enforcement Agency. We follow guidelines outlined at the federal level by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for our programs treating opioid dependence.
Highlight: Suicide Care Initiative
Integral Care leads the Austin-Central Texas Suicide Prevention Coalition, which provides community education, advocacy and resources. We provide mental health crisis services and education for adults and children. In many schools in Travis County, Integral Care provides suicide prevention services to students and families as a part of our on-campus counseling services.
In 2014, Integral Care became a Suicide Safe Care Center as part of the Zero Suicide in Texas (ZEST) program. The core belief of Zero Suicide is that suicide deaths for individuals under the care of health and behavioral health systems are preventable. For systems dedicated to improving patient safety, Zero Suicide presents an aspirational challenge and practical framework for system-wide transformation toward safer suicide care. Launched in 2019, our Suicide Care Initiative established Integral Care as a Regional Leader for 10 Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs). This year, HHSC announced that our Suicide Care Initiative will be funded for five more years to support continued implementation of Zero Suicide framework across the State of Texas.
In Fiscal Year 2022, our Suicide Care team has trained 1,965 staff in suicide care best practices and printed and distributed 10,000 Caring Contact Cards throughout the agency, which are sent to clients at-risk for suicide to show support and encourage engagement after a missed appointment.
We are proud to be leaders in Austin-Central Texas in championing suicide-safer health care and are committed to employing the Zero Suicide framework agency-wide.
Highlight: Health Equality Index Initiative
Last month, Integral Care joined Central Health, People’s Community Clinic, ASHwell, City of Austin’s LGBTQ Quality of Life Commission, CommUnityCare and Out Youth to kick off the Healthcare Equality Index initiative in Austin/Travis County, which will improve access to equitable, inclusive, quality health care for the LGBTQ2IA+ community.
Integral Care CEO, David Evans, spoke about Integral Care’s fully integrated, person-centered and trauma-informed approach to providing care. He highlighted our programs that support the LGBTQ2IA+ communities, such as our C.A.R.E. program, our community collaborations and touched on how our FY23-25 Strategic Plan aims to build racial and health equity in the community and provide care that fits the diverse needs of all people we serve.
We are excited to be a part of this public commitment to achieving health care equality across Travis County and committed to creating health care equity for the LGBTQ2IA+ community.
Highlight: Welcome Chief Strategy Officer, Anne Nagelkirk
Anne Nagelkirk serves as Chief Strategy Officer at Integral Care where she leads the strategy and execution of agency initiatives, delivering on its vision of Healthy Living for Everyone. Nagelkirk’s cause-driven career spans over 20 years of strategic communication grounded in storytelling, collaboration and listening. She joined Integral Care in 2015 as Director of Communications and Engagement and has led a rebrand for the agency as well as two statewide pandemic-response mental health campaigns with HHSC and Texas LMHAs. Nagelkirk produced an Emmy-winning PBS series that aired across Texas and is passionate about helping our community reach its full potential.
The Central Texas African American Family Support Conference invites you to join us for a family reunion on Saturday, October 15th from 11 am to 4 pm at the Millennium Center. This free event will include a job fair, music, exhibitors, food trucks and flu and COVID vaccinations. Register today!
FY23-25 Strategic Plan
Integral Care is excited to kick off a new strategic plan that will guide our work for the next three years. Hear from our incredible team about what our new goals mean to them in our new video linked below and view the full plan here.
Join us on Wednesday, September 21st at 1:30 pm for a virtual Together We Will Heal forum. It will discuss Alzheimer’s disease in the African American community, signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and provide resources to the community.