San Antonio Innovative Mental Wellness Program to Join Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
SAN ANTONIO– In response to the rapid growth of its innovative mental wellness initiative, the five nonprofits comprising the San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative announced today that on January 17, 2022, the program will move operations to the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute to expand its reach while strengthening its work in San Antonio.
The school-based mental wellness program, founded in 2019 through a collaborative venture among five San Antonio-based organizations, was created in response to rising demand among South San Antonio ISD students for access to mental health services. It solved a primary problem—delivering mental health services where transportation is a barrier—by bringing assistance straight to campuses. MMWC offers free onsite counseling services, crisis and substance use interventions, education, psychological assessments, educator trainings, wraparound services, and more at no cost to students, their families, teachers, and district staff.
Because of the growing need for mental wellness resources throughout the community and the success of the direct-delivery approach, the mental wellness program is expanding quickly. MMWC estimates that two school districts will join the program each year, in addition to other metropolitan areas looking to replicate the program.
Since MMWC’s inception, Jewish Family Service San Antonio (JFS) generously provided startup resources including leadership, program oversight, marketing, accounting, and more. Agreeing that the program is now positioned to expand, the Collaborative chose the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute to ensure it reaches its full potential.
Current JFS CEO Talli Dolge will come to the Meadows Institute in January as CEO of the MMWC and Senior Vice President of School and Community Partnerships, where she will expand the Collaborative’s vision nationally.
“The success of the program, while exciting to witness, has expanded beyond JFS’s wildest dreams,” said Carrie Douglas, president of the JFS Board of Directors. “The next logical step is to access a larger base of expertise, like found at the Meadows Institute, that can continue our San Antonio focus while growing and sustaining the program. The JFS Board of Directors is honored to have supported Talli and those who have worked on this essential initiative the past few years. We look forward to remaining part of the Collaborative as a partner agency and seeing where Talli takes it next. We know with Talli at the helm that the future is very bright.”
“We need community agencies to be part of the conversations to bring these vital services to school districts,” said Dolge. “With the help of our funders and the Meadows Institute, we will be able to, first and foremost, carry on here in San Antonio serving students, families, and educators with critical mental health services and bring this innovative mental wellness approach to all of Texas and beyond.”
The Meadows Institute will bring its proven data-driven and evidence-based strengths to the program as it moves onto a larger stage. In addition, it will continue the Collaborative’s nonprofit status, bring on staff to support the program, and use its national presence to widen MMWC’s reach. “What the Collaborative has created is impressive in scope and effectiveness. We’re honored to be selected to continue to support that work in San Antonio and to help the program expand its reach.
The need for services is so critical right now,” said Michelle Harper, Executive Vice President of State Policy at the Meadows Institute.
San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative Members
Jewish Family Service of San Antonio
Jewish Family Service of San Antonio provides affordable mental health counseling, psychiatry, education, case management and senior services to the greater San Antonio community. Services are available to all, regardless of age, race, faith, sexual identity, or economic status. Founded in 1973, JFS is guided by the Jewish values of “repairing the world” and “taking responsibility for each other.”
Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
Launched in 2014, the Meadows Institute helps legislators, state officials, members of the judiciary, and local, state, and national leaders identify equitable systemic solutions to mental health needs and has become Texas’s most trusted source for data-driven mental health policy. The Meadows Institute is making a significant impact in multiple areas, helping Texas and national leaders shift the focus of new investments toward early intervention, addressing the mental health crisis in our jails and emergency rooms, and helping all people with mental health needs recover and be well. Learn more at https://mmhpi.org.
Talli Dolge is a visible and vocal advocate for mental health awareness and programs, currently serving on the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council, the Bexar County Task Force on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health, and as the mental health contributor for KSAT-12 (the San Antonio ABC affiliate). She has served as the leader of the San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative since its inception in 2019. Dolge earned a B.S. Degree in Drama Therapy and an M.S. in Education and School/Community Counseling from SUNY (State University of New York). Before becoming the CEO of Jewish Family Service San Antonio, she held leadership positions with the Witte Museum and Walt Disney World.
Read the full press release here.