MHA Dallas embodies its mission in leading the community in improving mental health through advocacy and education, creating safe places that understand mental health concerns, and supporting people with mental illness in reaching their full potential. We envision a community where effective and relevant mental health services are available and accessible to all people with mental health needs; and a community that values and supports preventive and educational programs that promote mental health and wellness. Generous funding would allow us to grow programming, impacting more individuals.
Our signature programs include Mental Health Screenings, We Help Ourselves (WHO®) and Mothers and Babies programming.
We Help Ourselves
Every 8 minutes a child becomes a victim of abuse or neglect (Texas DFPS, 2018), and according to MHA National (2021), youth mental health is worsening, and Texas ranks last in access to care amongst all states. As the number of traumatic events experienced during childhood increases, the risk for the mental health problems in adulthood increases. There is an association between peer victimization (bullying/school violence) and low-self esteem, poor academic achievement, and suicide. Youth who report both being bullied and bullying others have the highest rates of negative mental health outcomes like depression, anxiety, and suicide (CDC). To counteract this grim trend, MHA Dallas reaches approximately 13,000 children with the We Help Ourselves Program (WHO®). WHO® teaches children and youth (ages 4 – 18) how to avoid different types of victimization, including: bullying, peer pressure, and emotional and physical abuse. Started in 1981 with MHA Dallas, this proven program is evidence-based and utilizes a youth-focused curriculum that is population-sensitive, with nonthreatening content and methodology and is Texas Education Agency approved.
Mothers and Babies
Research concludes that 1 out of 10 women will experience postpartum depression, and within lower income households, women have a 40-50% risk of an increase in depressive symptoms. Postpartum depression is consistently associated with adverse maternal and child health outcomes, including poor mother-child interaction, young child behavioral and learning difficulties, and less likelihood of accessing preventive healthcare. Established by Northwestern University, MHA Dallas is a partner provider for implementing Mothers and Babies, an evidence-based program that has been highlighted as one of the most effective interventions for the prevention of postpartum depression and has a proven record of success. MHA Dallas’ Mothers and Babies is a 6-week 1:1 or group intervention that focuses on three specific areas: encouraging more engagement in pleasant activities, improving social support, and promoting healthier ways of thinking. Based on principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), attachment theory, and psychoeducation, we offer a “toolkit” of approaches for mothers to observe their mood, note factors affecting their mood, and make changes in their daily lives to impact these areas.
Mental Health Screenings
At MHA Dallas, we know providing mental health screenings is one of the most effective ways to catch mental health problems early and where they are most likely to arise. Fifty percent of individuals who struggle with a mental health condition will show symptoms at some point. That is why we offer no cost mental health screenings for adults and adolescents struggling with mental health issues. Mental health screenings often act as the first line of defense and outreach to those in our community. They provide immediate assistance and can offer a pathway to other critical mental health services. MHA Dallas’ resources are designed to support those feeling unsure of the next steps to take, as well as those ready to take action towards increasing their mental health. Support is also available for students ready to move forward with talking to parents or exploring treatment options.
Mental Health America of Greater Dallas is proud to create a community where mental health issues are identified, and where mental health care is made available and accessible to everyone who needs it. We thank you for your partnership in helping those with mental illness reach their fullest potential, no matter their barriers.