Melinda Villagran, director of the Center for Community Health and Economic Resilience Research, received $2 million to improve mental health training and technology through the State of Texas Community Mental Health Surveillance Collaborative. Doggett also facilitated this grant.
“The pandemic has left more and more of our neighbors with depression, anxiety and more serious issues that can lead to serious harm,” Rep. Doggett said. “During the pandemic, we benefited from our local COVID dashboards, which mapped our community to show where new infections were occurring. This new funding I secured is designed to facilitate similar action for the growing number of mental health issues in central Texas. This funding will allow mental health experts and data scientists to develop a mapping tool to help us respond to and prevent mental health crises. Central Texas should be a useful tool for public health planners, school counselors, and veterans’ aid groups. It can help match the needs of neighbors in certain areas, age groups, and others. factors with available resources for assistance in times of crisis or challenge.”
“Building resilience after the pandemic requires a fresh look at the most pressing mental health challenges in central Texas,” Villagran said. “This funding obtained by Representative Doggett will allow our data scientists to create a virtual one-stop-shop for clinicians, non-profit organizations and government agencies to better understand and manage the changing landscape of mental health in our region.”