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Resilience, More Than “Texas Tough”

October 2, 2017 | news.utexas.edu

The physical damage of disasters like Hurricane Harvey are the most visible, but the crisis continues even after buildings have been mended.

“The mental health implications are long-term,” said Dr. Octavio N. Martinez Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. “Though Texans may be tough, how resilient are Texas communities, particularly when it comes to supporting mental health?”

Martinez believes promoting the principles of mental health recovery is critical to “helping people bounce back from Harvey and to strengthen the resilience of communities across Texas.”

In an effort to assist individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health is working toward supporting health care professionals across the state through the Recovery to Practice initiative (RTP).

Launched in 2015, the initiative is a recovery-oriented support system and curriculum for providers to strengthen mental wellness for Texans.

“One way to improve the resilience of our communities is to train and deploy a behavioral health workforce that is person-centered,” said Martinez. “The RTP initiative and recovery curriculum do just that.”

Harvey took a huge hit on Texas, but the mental health impact was just as bad and the RTP initiative aims to spark change in the practices used to address these issues.

“Part of our responsibility to one another in times of crisis is to use the opportunity to push for far-reaching changes so that resilience is more than just a quality we admire in individuals, but an organic principle of the systems and services that exist to meet a community’s needs,” said Martinez.

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