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Hill Country MHDD Celebrates 15th
Year of Community Service
The employees of Hill Country MHDD Centers (Hill Country), along with
their families, came together at the Riverside Star Event Park in
Kerrville for a picnic to honor those who served for 5, 10 and 15
years and to celebrate another year of serving individuals living
with mental illness and developmental disabilities.
According to Linda Werlein, CEO of Hill Country, “The picnic is a time
for us to come together as a family and celebrate the achievements of
the past year and to look forward to the challenges that lie
ahead. Our employees commit their lives to serving others and it
is wonderful to have this opportunity to thank them for their
dedication and commitment to assisting individuals who live with mental
illness and developmental disabilities on their journey of
recovery. That commitment to others is demonstrated and lived by
all of our employees, but especially by the 59 individuals who have
worked with Hill Country for all 15 years we have served the Hill
Country. We are truly blessed to have such dedicated employees,
employees who enrich the lives of others.”
One of the highlights of the Hill Country picnic each year is the
recognition of individuals who have completed five, ten and fifteen
years of service. This year 82 employees were recognized, 59 for
15 years, 10 for 10 years, and 13 for five years of service.
||Gay Nell Royea
“These individuals, along with our dedicated board and all of our
staff, are truly devoted to helping improve the lives of individuals
living with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and recovering
from substance use disorder,” stated Werlein, “Together, we make a
difference in individual’s lives by promoting independence, community
integration and recovery for those we serve.”
Hill Country operates 10 Mental Health Clinics which served over 6,800
children and adults during the last year. The Mental Health
clinics offer treatment for Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder,
Schizophrenia and adults in mental health crisis as well as for
children who have a mental health diagnosis or have serious problems in
daily life functioning due to psychiatric symptoms. The mental
health clinics also serve as the mental health crisis response system
for the local area and respond to calls made to the Mental Health
Crisis Hotline (1-877-466-0660). Hill Country’s Mental Health
clinics have participated in a number of national initiatives aimed at
promoting recovery and continually improving patient care.
Currently Hill Country is working on implementing Person-Centered
Recovery Planning, a collaborative process resulting in a recovery
oriented treatment plan, where consumers and care providers work
together to develop a treatment plan focused on the individual’s
preferences and recovery orientation.
The Hill Country Crisis Stabilization Unit located in Kerrville served
553 individuals with a mental health crisis requiring inpatient
treatment during the past year. The Hill Country Crisis
Stabilization Unit provides continuity of care between the inpatient
and outpatient settings and has been recognized by the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Service
Administration Office of Rural Health Policy as a Rural Behavioral
Health Program Promising Practice for the coordination of care provided
between the inpatient and outpatient setting.
Hill Country also offers Veteran to Veteran Peer Services. These
services are designed to give Veteran’s of all military branches the
opportunity to come together and discuss their experiences and any
challenges they face as they reintegrate into day to day activities
after returning from deployment. The knowledge, guidance, and
compassion of people who have been through similar experiences can be
an invaluable tool for veterans adjusting to civilian life and coping
with the intense experiences of combat. The peer groups help
connect military members and veterans with others like themselves,
those who have successfully navigated reintegration and can answer
questions and support their comrades in making the transition home.
In addition, Hill Country served over 1,000 individuals with
Developmental Disabilities. Individuals attend classes learning
vocational skills, living skills to enhance community living, social
skills, and job placement assistance. Services are offered to
families to help with individualized life planning, linkage to
appropriate community resources and monitoring services. The services
also offer temporary care, either in home or out of the home for
persons with disabilities, as well as residential and day programs for
those who qualify.
Hill Country’s Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program served over
1,600 children. ECI is a statewide program for families with
children, birth to three, with disabilities and developmental
delays. ECI supports families to help their children reach their
potential through developmental services. The staff works with
families, as a team, to focus on growth and development of the child in
their natural environment.
Also under the umbrella of Hill Country, Outpatient Substance Use
Disorder services are offered in Kerr and Gillespie counties.
Adult outpatient counseling and support groups are available for
individuals in recovery from all forms of substance abuse so the
individual can have an ongoing treatment and support to help them
throughout the recovery process. Last year, Hill Country served
approximately 70 people in Outpatient Substance Use Counseling.
Hill Country through its mission of promoting independence, community
integration, and recovery serves individuals from 19 counties
throughout the greater Texas Hill Country including: Bandera, Blanco.
Comal, Edwards, Gillespie, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Llano,
Mason, Medina, Menard, Real, Schleicher, Sutton, Uvalde, and Val Verde.
With over 475 employees throughout its 22,000 square mile service area,
Hill Country, organized in September 1997, provides mental health,
developmental disability, early childhood intervention, and substance
use disorder services.
For more information on Hill Country Community MHDD Centers and its
services, please visit www.hillcountry.org.