On June 15, the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute was named the recipient of the $10 million Lone Star Prize, a Texas-based competition launched in early 2020 to find and fund bold solutions focused on building healthier, stronger communities. The Prize, awarded by Lyda Hill Philanthropies and Lever for Change, will enable the Meadows Institute to implement the Lone Star Depression Challenge, our competition entry, which will improve quality of life and mental health care for communities across the state, saving lives and helping millions of Texans receive the care they need to recover from depression.
“The Lone Star Prize will make possible the first-of-its kind, wide-scale expansion of three proven initiatives to improve the lives of Texans living with depression,” said Andy Keller, President and CEO of Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. “Our partnership with the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care at UT Southwestern will catalyze an unprecedented statewide and national effort to put depression care in Texas on par with care for heart disease and cancer, freeing millions more Texans from the cloud of depression and saving hundreds of lives over the next five years.”
On behalf of the Meadows Institute and our partners in this project, we are immensely grateful to Lyda Hill, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, and Lever for Change for the opportunity and encouragement to dream big and share these bold solutions across our great state.
— Andy Keller, PhD
The need for bold action is significant in Texas. Under the current system, depression and other mental illnesses are not detected or treated until an average of eight to ten years after symptoms begin to emerge. This is a significant lost opportunity to address needs when they are minimal and at their easiest to successfully treat. Currently, fewer than 1 in 15 of the more than 1.5 million Texans suffering from depression each year receive the care needed to recover.
Once fully realized, the Lone Star Depression Challenge will free millions of these Texans affected by depression each year through fully-scaled clinical solutions in health systems, targeted engagement of marginalized communities to achieve equitable outcomes, and purchaser-driven market forces to accelerate adoption of these changes.We are leading the Lone Star Depression Challenge in collaboration with the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care at UT Southwestern, Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, and The Path Forward for Mental Health and Substance Use (The Path Forward). The Lone Star Prize will enable us to combine and expand three innovative programs. These programs include:
The Cloudbreak Initiative embeds early detection and treatment in primary care through two proven approaches: Measurement-Based Care (MBC), the routine use of repeated, validated measures to track symptoms and functional outcomes over time, and the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM), an integrated approach to the treatment of depression that involves care managers and consultant psychiatrists engaging directly within primary care settings to support the primary care practice. Together, MBC and CoCM have been proven in dozens of studies, and we expect their full real-world implementation to help at least 40% of people treated in primary care for depression achieve full symptom relief and another 25% recover substantially.
EMPOWER employs a suite of digital solutions to enable community health workers, peer specialists, and others on the front line deliver brief psychological treatments and engage people who need it into additional care. The effort builds on two decades of research demonstrating that community members can be trained to deliver brief psychological treatments for depression, reaching across race, ethnicity, poverty and other barriers to people who would otherwise experience limited access to needed care.
The Path Forward is a national initiative of business, government, nonprofits, health systems, and health payers collaborating to improve access to affordable, high-quality mental health and substance use services. Corporate and government purchasers in North Texas are among eight lead regions working with counterparts across the country to reform payment approaches and drive adoption of advanced depression care provided to employees and their dependents.
The Lone Star Depression Challenge is deploying these proven approaches to overcome the systemic barriers preventing most Texans with depression today from accessing care sooner and more effectively. The Cloudbreak Initiative promotes a bold mission to end untreated depression by identifying depression early and treating effectively in the primary care setting, just like we do for other medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes. EMPOWER will broaden access to evidenced-based care and do so more equitably by building a community-based mental health workforce, and The Path Forward will harness market forces to accelerate implementation.
In addition to the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care at UT Southwestern, Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, and Path Forward, other partners and significant contributors to the project include: the Dell Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Methodist Health Systems. Recently Methodist Health System joined The Cloudbreak Initiative and will soon begin integration of measurement-based care practices in its primary care clinics.
Award announcement from Lyda Hill Philanthropies and Lever for Change.
Meadows Institute award announcement press release.