Ms. Henke has a substantial background working in the public mental health system, both as a therapist and as a policy and program implementation specialist. As a therapist, she wore many hats, working with children and youth, as well as adults, with serious mental health needs. Most notably, Ms. Henke provided crisis intervention and follow-up services to children, youth, and their families. This work allowed her to witness, firsthand, the challenges faced by both families and service providers as they strive to obtain and deliver, respectively, the highest quality services for children and youth. As a result of this work, she shifted her focus to policy, in the hopes of improving the mental health system of care so those seeking services have access to high quality care when they need it.
Prior to joining MMHPI, Ms. Henke held several key positions within the Texas Health and Human Services System (HHS) where she found her niche in system transformation efforts. In her time with HHS, she served as the manager of the NorthSTAR Services Unit, working in partnership with organizations in Dallas and Collin County to redesign the infrastructure under which public mental health and substance use disorder services are delivered. She also had a leadership role in the 2012 redesign of the Texas Children’s Mental Health service delivery system, facilitating the statewide implementation of a behavioral health assessment tool and several evidence-based practices into the Children’s Mental Health system. These positions set the foundation for her to understand and help address the unique challenges faced by local organizations when implementing changes.
Ms. Henke joined MMHPI in December 2017. While at the Institute, she has played a key role in several projects. She has worked with teams to complete system assessments in Bexar County, Lubbock, Texoma (Grayson and Fannin Counties), and Nueces County. Most recently, she led MMHPI’s assessment of Dallas County’s mental health service delivery systems for children, youth, and families. She also served as a Project Lead on the Texas Coordinated Access to Recover Emotionally in Schools (CARES) Training and Texas CARES grants. Together, these grants brought training to school district staff to help them better identify mental health needs as well as services to students and staff experiencing mental health distress as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
Ms. Henke has a Master of Science in Child Development and Family Science (emphasis: Couple and Family Therapy) from North Dakota State University.