> Press Release
Country MHMR Approves Name Change
Hill Country Community Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center is
changing its name to Hill Country Mental Health and Development
Disabilities Centers. This change is being made to reflect our
goal of erasing the stigma attached to intellectual disabilities.
This name change comes after many years of advocacy efforts and
unanimous approval by the United States Congress of Rosa’s Law
(S.2781), which was put into effect on October 5, 2010. Inspired by
Rosa Marcellino, a child with Down syndrome, Rosa’s law directs the
elimination of the term “mental retardation” (which in recent years has
developed a negative connotation and is seen by many as stigmatizing)
and replaces it with the term “intellectual disabilities” in federal
health, education and labor statutes. With this name
change, Hill Country becomes one of a number of agencies serving
individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that are
removing the "R word" from their names.
"The utilization of the term retardation in society is associated
with negative connotations and has become demeaning to individuals,"
said Linda Werlein, CEO of Hill Country. "Although mental retardation
is a clinical diagnosis, we have removed it from our name out of
respect for the individuals we serve."
The Hill Country Board of Trustees, comprised of nine appointed
officials from the 19 counties sponsoring Hill Country, gave a great
deal of time and consideration to the name change. In considering
the new name, the Hill Country board wanted to affirm the primary focus
of the agency on mental health and developmental disability services
and to ensure that those seeking assistance would be able to identify
the agency in area directories.
Hill Country, which operates 10 mental health clinics, 8 developmental
disability centers, and 8 early childhood intervention centers,
provides community based mental health and developmental disability
services throughout 19 counties of the greater Texas Hill Country by
promoting independence, community integration and recovery.
Counties served by Hill Country include Bandera, Blanco, Comal,
Edwards, Gillespie, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Llano, Mason,
Medina, Menard, Real, Schleicher, Sutton, Uvalde, and Val Verde.