Texas Veterans + Family Alliance
SUMMARY – Texas has the second largest population of veterans in the country, and we have an obligation to care for those who have served and the families who have supported their service. Initially passed in 2015, the Texas Veterans + Family Alliance (TVFA) is an important part of our efforts to help fulfill our obligation, enabling local communities to develop solutions and programs to best serve their mental health needs.
Iraq and Afghanistan veterans experience major depression
Veterans living in Texas in 2017
Case Study Details
For many veterans in Texas and elsewhere, the transition back to civilian life can be difficult. Even veterans many years removed from active duty can encounter a unique and specific set of challenges when engaging and accessing mental health care. In many cases, care for these veterans was proving to be more difficult to find and obtain than it should be. Local efforts, in the best position to help, were often underfunded and uncoordinated.
In 2015, the Meadows Institute worked with Sen. Jane Nelson and other lawmakers in the development and passage of Senate Bill 55, which created a new and innovative grant program, Texas Veterans + Family Alliance (TV+FA), within the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). The purpose of this program was to support community mental health programs that provide services and treatment to veterans and their families.
The TV+FA grant program awards state funds to matching funds secured by existing or developing collaboratives that are dedicated to addressing issues like veteran post-traumatic stress, depression, or suicide.
The bill also directed HHSC to work with an administrator to assist, support, and advise on TV+FA and to help secure local, private, and in-kind funds to match the $20 million initially appropriated by the Texas Legislature, and the Meadows Institute was chosen as the no-cost administrator for the program’s first two years.
In subsequent legislative sessions, the TV+FA program has not only been reauthorized with full funding, but improved by removing the third-party administrator rule and reducing the matching fund requirements for rural regions.
The Meadows Institute continues to work with communities to help them develop and secure TV+FA grants to improve the lives of veterans and their families across our state.
Texas Leaders Announce Texas Veterans + Family Alliance, a new and innovative program within the Health and Human Services Commission.
Mental Health Month 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, programs for veterans and their families have never been more important.
Impact of COVID-19
Among veterans nationally, an economic recession increases rates of mental health and substance use disorders, including deaths from suicide and substance overdoses.