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 »
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 »
Released by Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Austin, Texas on March 19, 2020Texas Health and Human Services encourages all Texans in need of COVID-19 information and referrals to community resources to call the 2-1-1 Texas hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. “As we encourage people to use social distancing and to stay at home when possible, this state resource can help the public stay informed, stay calm and stay safe,” said Wayne Salter, HHS Deputy Executive Commissioner of Access and Eligibility Services. “Our trained staff are working tirelessly around the clock to respond to all the public’s questions, through 2-1-1 as well as our HHS social media platforms.”Texans, no matter where they live, can dial 2-1-1 Read More »
LeeAnn Dwire, 18, right, has participated in Burke’s STEP program for the past year. She is now working, recently obtained her GED and is preparing for college entrance exams.
By Nicole Bradford, Reporter, see the original story here.
Nacogdoches, TX (Daily Sentinel)
A year ago, LeeAnn Dwire might have seemed like a garden variety troubled teen.
Depressed and anxious, the teen often isolated herself. Worse, she began having hallucinations — hearing voices that were not there.
“I was in a bad place,” said Dwire, now 18 and holding down a job while preparing for the SAT. “My mom got scared for me and started Read More »
Texas Health and Human Services is urging people to be aware of the benefits and services available to Texans who suffered loss following Hurricane Harvey.
“I’ve seen firsthand the devastation, and we’ve been moving quickly to line up an array of benefits and services to help people in need,” said HHS Executive Commissioner Charles Smith. “We’ve been working closely with our federal partners and our folks on the ground to get food benefits rolling and do what we can to help simplify life for people affected.”
Texas HHS has mobilized various agency programs to help Texans. Here is a recap of some of the benefits and services Texas HHS offers.
FEMA GrantsTexas HHS has processed more than 80,000 grant applications for federal aid Read More »
The Special Olympics Texas board of directors recently named Jake Squiers, chief operating officer of Burke, as a new member.
Squiers just finished a two-year term on the nonprofit organization’s President’s Advisory Council and will now serve a two-year term in an at-large position on the board.
“Jake has a tremendous eye for detail and was a standout member of the President’s Advisory Council,” said Chad Tywater, SOTX board chairman. “Jake will be a great addition to our board for years to come.”
Squiers said he feels “honored and excited.”
“I’m very passionate about activities for folks with developmental disabilities,” he said. “I’ve been Read More »
Published in the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel on August 8, 2016
By Sherry Daniel, Contributing Writer
Thousands of suffering addicts in Deep East Texas now have more options to request help with substance abuse disorders. ADAC, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council of Deep East Texas, is working in conjunction with Burke, “to assess, support and arrange treatment for recovery from drug and alcohol problems,” according to ADAC counselor Brooke Phillips.
While heroin sends more users to local emergency rooms, police say methamphetamine holds the top spot as the most abused chemical in the area.
Nacogdoches Police Sgt. Greg Sowell places “crack,” another powerful stimulant, in the second position. Alcohol is an ever-present chemical of abuse. Estimates show that 182 people will be arrested for drug Read More »
Published in the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel on May 30, 2016
News Editor’s note: The following feature is the last in a series highlighting May as mental health month.
By Kinnie Reina, Burke
Two years ago, retired United States Army major, Jeffrey Smith found relief in the Lufkin-based Military Veteran’s Peer Network. Smith retired from the Army in 2006 after 21 years of service. During his last three years of service, he served as XO (executive officer) at Fort Polk in Louisiana, where his brigade ensured that National Guard and Reserve units were trained and ready to be deployed overseas. During his tenure, his brigade processed over 4,000 soldiers and lost 32.
Upon reentry to civilian life, Smith created a wall of isolation around him. He distanced Read More »
Jim Lemon of the East Texas Behavioral Health Network was recently recognized as Citizen of the Year by the Deep East Texas Branch of the National Association of Social Workers for his community development work with area gardens which support sustainability and foster healthy living. Lemon recently visited with KTRE at one of these gardens to share his story of recovery and actualization. Check out the story (and some pictures) on KTRE’s website, or watch the video below.
It was a double-whammy for one East Texas man. Jim Lemon for years battled a never-ending struggle with alcoholism. And his life took an unexpected turn when the diagnosis of Leukemia came.
“37 years ago is when I chose sobriety,” said Jim Lemon.
A decision Read More »
Carolyn doesn’t mince words when explaining what Burke has meant to her. “Without Burke, I’d be dead.” She was tired, bitter and except for the elderly father she cared for, estranged from most of her family. For the better part of 10 years, she says, “my life was in shambles.”
Burke Counselor Cindy Carswell agrees, “she was as serious about suicide as anyone I’ve ever known. It seemed that nothing made her happy, but she’s become a poster child for not giving up. She’s become an incredible inspiration to me.”
Carolyn’s illness required a combination of medication and counseling. Both have been remarkably effective, but neither were quick fixes. Finding the right medication took some time, and Carolyn says many of her Read More »