AUSTIN, Texas—The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health has received a $100,000 grant from the Meadows Foundation of Dallas to conduct a public information campaign on the condition of children’s mental health services in Texas in conjunction with a television documentary on the subject.
The documentary film, “Children on the Brink,” is being produced by Emmy award-winning documentarians Karen Bernstein and Ellen Spiro of The University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Radio, Television and Film. It is being underwritten by grants totaling $110,000 from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and the Houston Endowment.
Scheduled for release in spring 2004, the documentary focuses on the lives of six Texas children with severe emotional disturbances and the sometimes painfulexperiences their families have endured in seeking appropriate treatment andsupport.
“Children with severe emotional disturbances are a woefully neglected and hidden segment of the population in Texas,” said Jeff Patterson, communications director for the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. “Officials estimate that some 420,000 Texas youths under the age of 18 suffer from a severe emotional disturbance that impairs their ability to function, but only a fraction of these children are appropriately diagnosed or treated each year.
“Our hope is that through this documentary and public outreach campaign, we can draw much needed public attention to this issue and, perhaps, serve as a catalyst to improve the state’s resource commitment to this vulnerable population.”
The Meadows Foundation grant will support the Hogg Foundation’s development of a public information campaign to raise awareness of children’s mental health issues in Texas, improve understanding about the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of emotional disorders and describe the gaps within the fractured public mental health system in the state.
The outreach effort will include informational brochures, an extensive Web site and a media information campaign to focus public attention on the issue of severe emotional disturbances in children. Funds will also be used to facilitate public meetings about the topic following the premiere broadcast of the documentary on public television stations across the state.
The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health is an administrative unit of The University of Texas at Austin and is dedicated to developing, supporting, evaluating and promoting culturally relevant mental health services, research, education and public policies throughout Texas.
For more information contact: Jeff Patterson, 512-471-5041.