Support will help increase access to behavioral health services to families across San Antonio
San Antonio, TX (July 22, 2021) – Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. – a private, faith-based not-for-profit dedicated to creating access to health care for low-income families and the uninsured – announced a $558,345 grant award to the San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative (MMWC) at a special event on Thursday, July 22 at the Sosa Engagement Center in the Harlandale Independent School District. The funding will help the MMWC further expand its services into more school districts and reach more students in need of critical mental health resources.
The MMWC, comprised of six local nonprofits, provides a holistic approach to mental wellness care of children and their support systems. The need for youth mental health services is particularly acute in Bexar County where approximately 130,000 children have behavioral health needs and over 10,000 children ages 12 to 17 have a substance use disorder (Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, 2019). Schools appear to be well positioned to play a key role in addressing childhood mental health concerns; however, school districts in lower income areas, where student behavioral health needs are greatest, cannot afford to provide this type of support.
Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ funding will support the MMWC by creating a ‘backbone’ for the collaborative and support its continued growth. In addition to the $4.75 million in funding by Bexar County, the MMWC has secured funding from the City of San Antonio and other foundations, making this a co-investing initiative. The funding provided by Methodist Healthcare Ministries will enable the MMWC to hire dedicated staff for the backbone, ensuring the collaborative has the support it needs to continue to deliver services to community members in need.
“The challenge of addressing the need for increased mental health services for the youth in our community is not one that can be solved alone, but rather takes a collective group working together to have a positive impact,” said Jaime Wesolowski, President & CEO of Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. “Through this funding and partnership, we are proud to stand alongside the San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative and its partner agencies to further their efforts to increase access to critical mental health resources that can help students and resilient families thrive together.”
Methodist Healthcare Ministries has previously provided funding for each organization in the collaborative: Jewish Family Service of San Antonio (JFS), Clarity Child Guidance Center, Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, Communities in Schools of San Antonio, Family Service Association, and Rise Recovery. Methodist Healthcare Ministries will also work with MMWC to develop a telehealth mental wellness counseling program. The telehealth component will be an essential part of Methodist Healthcare Ministries ongoing work with the Connecting Beyond the Classroom initiative in Edgewood I.S.D., as well as expanding the collaborative into rural counties that have not had access to mental health services before.
Talli Dolge, CEO of Jewish Family Services of San Antonio, added “Because of Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ mission to provide quality healthcare to those who are underserved in our community, all of our organizations are able to continue our own missions, whether that is providing mental health counseling, wrap around family services, healing for grieving families, substance use recovery support, children’s psychiatry or student support. Thanks to Methodist Healthcare Ministries, we are now able to bring our missions together to create an opportunity to expand mental healthcare in areas of San Antonio that didn’t have enough resources before.”
Through the collaborative, the six organizations offer free services, including counseling for individuals or groups on issues such as anxiety, trauma, grief, anger management, substance abuse, and so much more. The collaborative also provides crisis intervention, parent education, psychological assessment, as well as teacher and administrator consulting and training.
In the upcoming school year, the MMWC will serve five school districts (South San I.S.D., Harlandale I.S.D., Edgewood I.S.D., Southwest I.S.D. and Somerset I.S.D.), supporting over 41,000 students, as well as their families, teachers and administrators.
About Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.
Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. is a private, faith-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating access to health care for the uninsured through direct services, community partnerships and strategic grant-making in 74 counties across South Texas. Guided by its mission of “Serving Humanity to Honor God,” Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ vision is to be the leader for improving wellness of the least served. The mission also includes Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ one-half ownership of the Methodist Healthcare System, the largest healthcare system in South Texas, which creates a unique avenue to ensure that it continues to be a benefit to the community by providing quality care to all and charitable care when needed. For more information, visit www.mhm.org.
About the San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative
The San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative was founded in 2019 by six nonprofits wanting to provide a holistic approach to mental wellness by breaking barriers and bringing services right into the schools. The group currently serves three school districts (South San, Edgewood and Harlandale ISDs) by offering individual and group counseling, psychiatry, education, and more to students, parents, teachers and administrators. Organizations in the Collaborative include Jewish Family Service of San Antonio, Family Service Association, Clarity Child Guidance Council, Rise Recovery, Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas and Communities in School of San Antonio.