Special to The Dallas Examiner

AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced Monday it will award $10 million in grant funds to 20 organizations across the state for phase three of the state’s Texas Veterans + Family Alliance grant program.

The grants will help expand and coordinate access to mental health and supportive services for veterans and their families. Examples of services include face-to-face counseling and tele-counseling in rural communities, continuity of care services to help veterans transition from military to civilian life and transportation coordination to access mental health services.

Sen. Jane Nelson’s Senate Bill 55 established the grant program in 2016. HHSC will award up to $20 million in state funds over the 2018-19 biennium to be matched by grantees with local and private funds. This is in addition to the previously announced $20 million in state funds over the 2016-17 biennium to be matched with local and private funds by grantees.

“As the daughter of a World War II veteran, I am pleased to see this program is giving veterans and their families access to quality mental health services,” said Nelson. “By bringing together state and local organizations – along with the private sector – they are meeting the needs of our veterans.”

All selected grantees participate in community collaboratives, partnering with local nonprofit and veterans service organizations, faith-based organizations, local businesses and government agencies to address their communities’ needs. Grant funding was awarded through an application process and required a project proposal. Grantees are required to match the state’s award dollar-for-dollar to demonstrate their commitment to addressing the needs of veterans and families.

Three organizations in Dallas County – Equest, Recovery Resource Council and University of Texas Health Science Center – have been selected to receive funding and will begin providing services pending execution of contracts.

For more information on accessing services, visit https://mentalhealthtx.org, https://veterans.portal.texas.gov and http://www.211texas.org. Veterans and family members can also access services on their smartphones through the Texas Veterans app.

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