TCDD Projects and InitiativesTCDD supports that all people, regardless of their disability, age, or income level, should have access to affordable, comprehensive health care, including access to mental health care. We also understand the need to expand information and training about mental health for people with DD. The Council aims to address these information and service gaps through our grant-funding initiatives. Our grant projects related to mental health and people with DD include the following.
- Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute is developing an assessment and practice recommendations for first responders who give care to youth with DD experiencing mental health crises. The project focuses specifically on transition-age youth ages 14-25.
- Texas Tech University’s Project TEDD (Training Educators in Dual Diagnosis) is providing training workshops for K-12 educators who specialize in teaching students who have dual diagnoses of DD and mental health conditions. Educators who complete the workshops will be able to use their skills and knowledge to help their school districts support students with dual diagnoses.
- The University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School is creating a comprehensive study of service gaps in mental health care for people with DD in Texas. Through the study, the project will develop a framework to direct future research into mental health care services for people with DD. In addition to the analysis, the project is developing an online resource for mental health care information and referrals for people with DD and service providers.
- The Arc of Texas’ Whole Person Training is developing a curriculum for mental health care providers who work with people with DD who may also experience mental health conditions. Along with the curriculum, the Arc of Texas has created awareness videos highlighting people with DD and their mental health. These videos aim to spread understanding and reduce stigma.
- TCDD Policy Fellow Hannah Gill is working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Texas to track student mental health, insurance coverage for individuals with mental illness, and ways to mitigate mental health workforce shortages. During the 88th Texas legislative session, she worked with legislators and their staff to raise awareness about mental health issues for people with DD.