The Texas Veterans + Family Alliance Grant Program at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission works with 30 communities across the state to offer technical assistance and matching funds to veterans and their families.
“Military families serve our country,” said Trina Ita, deputy associate commissioner in the Office of Mental Health Coordination. “And military families are an important and growing part of a community exposed to trauma.”
Texas is home to the second-largest veteran population in the country. The Legislature passed Senate Bill 55, authored by Sen. Jane Nelson in 2015, to reintegrate veterans into their Texas communities by developing grants to offer mental health programs.
The TV+FA grant creates and supports community programs that connect veterans and their families with effective and responsive mental health services. The program involves veterans at all stages of developing and implementing the grant. Peer support services are especially important: veterans help other veterans.
“Peer support is a critical component of these programs,” said Ita. “A person who may have experiences similar to the veteran client can more readily identify with the veteran and identify his or her needs.”
Communities match state grant awards dollar-for-dollar with local and private funds. More than $7 million has been secured and matched for services, including:
- Evidence-based therapies and treatment.
- Individual, group, family and couples peer support services.
- Individual and family counseling.
- Support services essential to mental health services such as child care, emergency financial support, transportation and housing assistance.
- Case management and referral services.
Participating organizations vary in size and include United Way of Denton County, Heroes Night Out and the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. All have a mission to improve the quality of life of Texas veterans and their families.