This Project intends to reduce gaps in mental health services and care among a Hispanic- serving Institution (HSI) university coalition. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is the second largest HSI in the nation and is located along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas; an area in which mental health services have been traditionally underserved. While this population is rich in cultural practices and traditions and 90% of residents are of Hispanic origins, the Rio Grande Valley has been designated as a Mental Health Care Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). The proposed Project will take place primarily on the UTRGV campus, which is comprised of several campuses within four major counties in the Rio Grande Valley: Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy, and Starr counties.
The purpose of the MHAT-HSI Project is to implement an evidence-based training curriculum for university personnel including faculty, staff, students, and specific organization leaders, as well as community clinical practicum/internship cite partners. Utilizing a training-of-trainers model, newly certified trainers will train campus and community-based individuals to recognize, understand, and respond to persons experiencing any mental illness (AMI) and serious mental illness (SMI). Training will improve mental health literacy and increase or establish the capacity to recognize the signs and symptoms AMI/SMI in order to render skilled, expeditious, and safe assistance. This Project will establish a partnership with the area's local mental health authority, Tropical Texas Behavioral Health, as the primary referral source for mental health services.
A total of 790 individuals will be trained throughout the five-year Project. In the first year, 8 MHFA instructors will be certified as trainers and they, in turn, will train 90 campus and community-based individuals as the Project launches. In year two, 2 additional MHFA trainers will be certified and a total of 160 campus and community-based individuals will be trained. Thereafter, 180 individuals will be complete MHFA training per year. Training materials will be provided to each attendee, and a sign-in sheet will be created to capture the names and contact information of attendees. All attendees will then be contacted after 30 days in order to complete a follow-up Government Performance and Results Act form and a follow-up evaluation.