YWCA awarded $100k to improve access to mental health services in rural Central Texas

ywca mental health austin

YWCA Greater Austin has been awarded an $100,000 in funding from the Moody Foundation. These monies will allow YWCA to build out its mobile mental health services in order to increase access to high quality free and affordable therapy in geographically isolated areas of Central Texas. In 2018, YWCA Greater Austin received $45,550 from the St. David’s Foundation to lay the groundwork for this initiative.

“We are beyond happy and honored that the Moody Foundation has decided to partner with us to address this gap that exists in the delivery of mental health services. With Austin’s affordability crisis and the continuing effects of gentrification, families are being pushed to the periphery of Travis County and into more rural areas of Central Texas where access to services is a challenge,” stated Ángela-Jo Touza-Medina, YWCA Greater Austin Executive Director.  “We are committed to improving the availability, accessibility, affordability, and acceptability of quality behavioral health services for Central Texas’ rural residents. We hope that our presence in these communities will further much needed conversations and initiatives to help overcome the -often heightened- stigma of mental health issues that causes those in need to avoid seeking care.”

Data for mental health access in rural areas:

  • 1 in 5 adult Texans will experience a mental health concern at some point this year. (NAMI)
  • Over 20% of children ages 9-17 have a diagnosed mental illness. (NAMI)
  • Approximately 20% of rural residents aged 55 and older have a mental health issue (National Rural Health Association)
  • Rural areas have the highest suicide rates (CDC)

In 2019, YWCA wants to make it easier for people who can’t access mental health services due to lack of transportation and provider availability, to get the help they need through our mobile counseling services. 

“Our goal is to make affordable and free culturally and linguistically appropriate trauma-informed mental health therapy available for individuals, children, families and groups throughout Central Texas.”

You can donate to support the campaign to expand service to rural areas here.

YWCA provides free mental health and counseling services to victims of crime and veteran women and sliding fee scale services starting at $10 for the community at large out of their South Central Austin office, and Round Rock and North Travis County Locations.  YWCA therapists utilize a trauma informed and cultural relational theory based approach to ensure the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services to children, adults, individuals, couples, and groups.

For more than 75 years, the Moody Foundation has funded programs and projects that strive to better the community of Texas and have invested in charitable projects that exhibit innovative ideas and make long-term improvements in the community. Currently, the Moody Foundation has awarded over 4,000 grants to nonprofits, including YWCA Greater Austin.

YWCA Greater Austin has provided mental health services to thousands of Central Texas residents. For more information or to schedule a counseling appointment please call: 512.326.1222.

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