2019 Nantucket Children’s Mental Health Summit

Half of all mental health conditions emerge by the age of 14. Mental health care for children is a major issue across the country, with experts, philanthropists, and policymakers working together to improve the lives of young people dealing with mental and behavioral health issues by addressing issues before symptoms become more severe.

Progress is being made, largely thanks to dedicated philanthropists like Maureen and Jim Hackett, whose generous and transformative $20 Million gift established The Hackett Center for Mental Health (THC) in January 2018. Leveraging the participation of exceptionally skilled researchers, community leaders, and health care providers, The Hackett Center’s purpose is to transform systems and influence policy through unprecedented collaboration.

From July 31-August 2, The Hackett Center for Mental Health is hosting the second annual “Nantucket Children’s Mental Health Summit.” This unique and important event, brings together the leading minds in children’s mental health from both Massachusetts and Texas states to share and discuss innovative new ways to improve systems and overall care.

Working with THC, the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, and the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (MAMH), these experts gather to learn about the work going on in each state, the unique challenges within their respective systems, and both their success stories and cautionary tales.

Discussions during the inaugural Summit in 2018 led experts at MMHPI and THC to encourage the creation of Texas’ Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN), based on Massachusetts’ Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP). Legislation to create this system – which helps primary care pediatricians more quickly consult psychiatry experts at the state’s medical schools for diagnosis and treatment options – passed during the 86th Texas Legislative Session.

By bringing together people from these two great states, with different approaches and distinctive ideas, the Summit will continue generating great ideas and opportunities for collaboration for a long time to come.

The Hackett Center for Mental Health Names Renowned Mental Health Policy Expert Dr. Gary Blau As New Executive Director

The Hackett Center for Mental Health (THC), Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute’s first regional center, has been working to make a difference in the lives of people in Houston and along the Texas Gulf Coast throughout its first year. Today, THC announced a new Executive Director who will help THC build on what has already been accomplished and achieve new heights in improving mental health care systems across the region.

Gary Blau, Ph.D. –  who has served the past 15 years as Chief of the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch for the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – will assume his new role with THC beginning Sept. 13.

“After 25 years in government on the federal and state level, it’s been a dream for me to be able to take on a role such as this with a focus on putting policy into practice,” Dr. Blau said. “I’m thrilled with this opportunity to take my knowledge and skills and apply them to efforts in Houston, the greater Gulf Coast, and across Texas.”

Gary Blau, Ph.D.

For more information, view the press release:  https://www.texasstateofmind.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/THC_Blau_Announcement_Press_Release_07162019.pdf