News & Resources

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

The month of September is devoted to Suicide Prevention Awareness.  HHSC reminds everyone about the importance of resiliency and hope, two protective factors toward maintaining health and wellness. Hope promotes a general positive outlook and resiliency is the ability to recover and continue in the face of adversity. Below are some ideas to maintain your health and wellness:

Build hope by starting each day in a positive way to have an impact on your mood. You can use a daily mantra or think of three to five things for which you are grateful.
Keep an optimistic outlook and think about things you are looking forward to in the future.
Build a future focus and determine your pathway to get there.
Build resiliency by being Read More »

COVID-19 Vaccination Brought to You

Texans can now schedule free COVID-19 vaccine clinics for groups of 5 or more
As more and more of the country continues to get the vaccine, many Texans are still facing one of the primary health disparities the pandemic has uncovered: vaccine access.
Based on news shared by the Hogg Foundation, we wanted to bring to your attention a program that offers free vaccines to Texans. As part of Texas’ mobile vaccination plan, groups of at least five people can schedule a mobile clinic to come to a house, a park, a place of business, or an apartment.
To schedule a clinic to come to your location, call 844-90-TEXAS and select option three.
For more resources from the Hogg Foundation, visit their Resources page for Mental Health Read More »

Texas HHS Receives National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Grant

AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services recently announced it is receiving more than $180,000 in funding toward implementing a new national three-digit dialing code, 988, for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
“The new 988 number makes it easier for people in crisis or emotional distress to get immediate assistance and connect to mental health resources within their communities,” said Sonja Gaines, HHS deputy executive commissioner of Intellectual and Developmental Disability and Behavioral Health Services. “We are excited to get to work, ensuring that Texans who need support can always count on a Lifeline.”
The grant funds will be used to help Texas Lifeline call centers prepare for infrastructure needs and additional callers, purchase headsets and computers, train and educate staff, and Read More »

Local Sheriffs Appointed as Ex-officio Board Members for Burke

Burke, the Local Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority for the Deep East Texas region, recently announced the ex-officio appointments of Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford and Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges to its Board of Trustees. The appointments result from Senate Bill 632 of the 86th legislature, which promotes Local Mental Health Authority (LMHA) cooperation with the criminal justice system by directing all LMHAs to appoint sheriffs or sheriffs’ representatives to their local governing board as ex officio non-voting members.
Burke provides mental health and intellectual and developmental disability services to individuals in 12 East Texas counties (Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, and Tyler).
Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges will represent Read More »

Burke CEO featured in SFA alumni magazine

Melanie Taylor, Burke’s CEO was recently featured in the alumni magazine of her alma mater, Stephen F. Austin State University. Read the article below or the online version here.

CEO leads Burke Center through pandemic
Story by Jo Gilmore
Photos by Robin Johnson ’99 & ’19
After she graduated from SFA with a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services, Melanie Taylor ’86 was planning to move to Colorado and earn a master’s degree in her field.
Instead, she fell in love with her now-husband, Jimmy, and decided to pursue a job locally at the same center where she completed a life-changing internship as part of her SFA degree program.
“My internship experience at Burke prompted me to seek employment in a field that I may never have Read More »

Public Notice – Waiver Amendment to the Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Waiver Program

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission posted the following information by public notice in the Sept. 25, 2020 issue of the Texas Register, 45 TexReg 6786 online.
“The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is submitting to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) a request for an amendment to the Youth Empowerment Services (YES) waiver program, a waiver implemented under section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act. CMS has approved this waiver through March 31, 2023. The proposed effective date for the amendment is February 1, 2021. The proposed amendment does not affect the cost neutrality of the waiver.
The request proposes to amend Appendix I to require YES program providers to use electronic visit verification for in-home Read More »

Burke is Now Offering Virtual Mental Health First Aid Courses

Mental Health First Aid Matters
Most of us would know how to help if we saw someone having a heart attack—we’d start CPR, or at the very least, call 9-1-1. But too few of us would know how to respond if we saw someone having a panic attack or if we were concerned that a friend or co-worker might be showing signs of alcoholism.
I would've ended up getting help earlier had I had the support of people who knew they weren't interfering in my personal life, they were trying to save my life - Congressman Patrick KennedyMental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance Read More »

Burke’s 2020 Provider Network Development Plan Available for Public Comment

Burke’s 2020 Provider Network Development Plan is available for public comment through August 14, 2020. The Plan applies only to services funded by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and is targeted to provider organizations interested in providing full levels of care in our service areas.
Please forward your comments to:
Donna Moore
Director of Quality Management
Phone: 936-558-6232
Fax: 936-558-6203

Texas State Health Agencies Launch Webpage to Depict Youth Suicide in Texas

A joint effort between the Suicide Prevention Team at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Data Dissemination Team at the Center for Health Statistics at the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), helped to create the new Youth Suicide in Texas data webpage.

Working together for over a year, the HHSC and DSHS team synthesized three sources of data to establish the scope of suicide deaths and attempts among Texans under the age of 25. It also presents factors that put youth at an additional risk of a suicide attempt.

Some of the data information/sources available are:

Youth suicide mortality by demographicsNumber of suicide-related calls to Texas Poison Control CentersIdentifying who’s at risk using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Read More »

HHSC Launches Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line

Texas Health and Human Services has launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.This new resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.“Through this new effort, we are connecting Texans with mental health professionals who can help provide support to those who are feeling overwhelmed and stressed,” said Sonja Gaines, Deputy Executive Commissioner for Intellectual and Developmental Disability and Behavioral Health Services. “It can be helpful to talk to someone when you are facing anxiety, depression and stress, which are not uncommon to experience Read More »