Working with partners to address the mental health needs of the region

November 13, 2017

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation established the Mental Health and Emotional Well-being priority area to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, increase training for mental health providers and explore structural changes in the region’s behavioral health treatment system to improve access and quality of care. The Health Foundation is taking a leadership role in convening community partners and supporting programs and initiatives that make measurable improvements in the health of the region.

Think.Change Initiative The Think.Change Initiative supports programs and policy changes that work to reduce stigma and negative bias associated with mental illness in the service region of the Health Foundation. Increasing availability of quality education programs such as Mental Health First Aid, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) best practice program shown to contribute to the reduction of stigma associated with mental illness; NAMI Family to Family, Basics, In Our Own Voice, and Parents and Teachers as Allies; and the De Mujer a Mujer Program help to dispel myths and educate families and professionals on the facts surrounding mental illness. ** El Paso Behavioral Health Consortium** El Paso Behavioral Health Consortium is a growing collaboration where all partners are welcome, empowered, and unified to achieve the ideal behavioral health service and support system. Goals are achieved through three Leadership Councils that engage with area leaders and mental health advocates including El Paso County child, adolescent and family health organizations; other child-serving agencies; justice system leaders and stakeholders; and healthcare providers and natural support systems to collaboratively make lasting policy and practice improvements.

Doña Ana Wellness Institute The Health Foundation engaged with Doña Ana County leadership as they established a collaborative committed to creating a community-centered, integrated health system to improve the health of Doña Ana County residents. Their ongoing work will develop an independent, well-recognized and sustainable organization; build a new generation of health and healthcare professionals; become recognized as an innovator and leader in inter-professional education for all health-related professions; and establish coordinated systems of care that involve all sectors of the community, using new language and behavior around health policy, teaching and practice that focus on prevention and wellness.

ROTMENAS With the help of the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, a growing group of more than 20 representatives from state and municipal governments, nonprofits, universities and others created what is now known as the “Red de Organizaciones Edicadas a la Atención y Prevención de Trastornos Mentales, Neurológicos y por Abuso de Sustancias” (ROTMENAS), which translates to “Network of organizations dedicated to addressing and preventing mental and neurological illnesses and substance abuse” in Ciudad Juárez. This group of community champions now has a mission, vision and is working to develop a strategic plan for collaborative action.

El Paso Psychology Internship Consortium (EPPIC) The EPPIC project is a multi-institutional partnership effort to create an American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited clinical psychologist internship program to assist in recruiting clinical psychology practitioners to the area. EPPIC is a joint effort of Paso del Norte Health Foundation, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, The University of Texas at El Paso and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The interns are excited about the prospect of starting a career in the El Paso area. Training includes an emphasis on developing clinical psychologists who will be culturally and linguistically competent to serve border populations.

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