The Lone Star Depression Challenge - MMHPI - Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
freeing texans from depression

Lone Star Depression Challenge

​The Lone Star Depression Challenge aims to free every Texan from depression by scaling three existing initiatives statewide. Our goal is to increase the rate of recovery from depression in Texas from less than 10% today to more than 50% through early detection and treatment in primary care.


Meadows Institute named recipient of $10 million Lone Star Prize

On June 15, the Meadows 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. This initiative 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.

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.

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Universal access across Texas to these proven care models could help at least one-third of Texans recover from depression and lead to one-quarter fewer deaths from suicide. That means we could free half a million Texans from this scourge and potentially save a thousand lives every year.

Lone Star Depression Challenge

Project Details

Before COVID-19, depression held 1.5 million Texans in its grip each year and suicide had become the third leading cause of death. COVID-19 is accelerating diseases of despair, laying bare broader inequities across race, ethnicity, and income. Over 3,000 Texans die each year from suicide, and depression costs billions in lost productivity, plus the human and economic burdens of co-morbid disease such as diabetes and heart disease. 

The Lone Star Depression Challenge scales three existing initiatives statewide: 

  1. The Cloudbreak Initiative driving primary care-based clinical solutions across leading health systems
  2. The Path Forward to help Texas businesses purchase better care
  3. EMPOWER to augment our workforce with culture-spanning community health workers. 

Similar strategies transformed care for heart disease and cancer over the last two decades, and these same efforts have the potential to save thousands of lives and improve health outcomes for hundreds of thousands as we meet the Challenge.

Cloudbreak Logo

Primary care

Driving primary care-based clinical solutions across leading health systems

National Alliance Health The Path Forward Logo

Health care

Helping Texas businesses purchase better care

EMPOWER Building Mental Health Worfkforce Logo


Augmenting our workforce with culture-spanning community health workers