The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute registers many of its staff as lobbyists. While the Institute is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and does not engage in traditional lobbying work as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, State of Texas ethics laws comprise a complex set of rules and regulations that cover a wide range of activities from advocacy to contracting. The Institute works at many levels of government in Texas so registering our employees is out of an abundance of caution, and consistent with our firm commitment to ethics and transparency when dealing with the public sector. This represents our desire to stay within the limits defined by state law as we provide high quality, nonpartisan, and objective policy research to improve mental health services in Texas.
For our policy work, the Institute has established five principles to guide our policy priorities and evaluation:
- Texans deserve behavioral health care that is accessible, understandable, efficient, and effective.
- The State of Texas and its agencies must be accountable to taxpayers for the performance of its behavioral health systems.
- Behavioral health care is best delivered through local systems that are held accountable for results and able to work collaboratively to help Texans in need.
- Performance evaluation of the behavioral health system must be continuous, outcome focused and driven by meaningful data.
- A skilled and robust behavioral health care workforce is essential to improve the wellness of Texans.
The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute analyzes and evaluates public policy through evidence-based research, data-driven assessment of outcomes, cost-effectiveness and innovation, and ongoing inquiry into best practices across Texas and nationally. We strive to be an authoritative source on the mental health landscape in Texas, and we are honored that our policy and program team is quickly emerging as a trusted resource.
Texas State of Mind is the initiative of our Institute, the objective is to identify effective practices and connect Texas communities, helping to bring those services to scale so that Texans have access to the quality mental health treatment they need when they need it.
The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute traces its origins to the vision of The Meadows Foundation and its philanthropic leadership throughout the State of Texas on mental health and other vital public issues. Recognizing that people with mental illness can live productive and successful lives with the necessary treatment and support, in 2011 the Meadows Foundation embarked on a venture to make systemic changes as to how, when and where Texas residents receive mental health care. The Foundation engaged national consulting firms and collaborators from across Texas on the creation of a policy institute to provide guidance to local communities and state leaders on polices and programs that improve mental health outcomes. With an initial $10M grant, The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute was formally launched in April 2014.
The Meadows Institute policy and program team includes some of the best minds in mental health care and policy analysis in Texas and nationally. In addition to the core team members, our broader network of policy analysts and scholars continuously reviews the evidence base and conducts original research and evaluation according to rigorous standards of objectivity, economic analysis, and practicality. As a result, we are ready to serve as a reliable source of information and analysis on the full range of mental health policy, with an emphasis on best practices, efficiency, effectiveness, and real world solutions.
Based on research and input from stakeholders across the state, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute has identified three areas where policy guidance can provide a significant opportunity for Texas to progress. Specifically, The Institute focuses on children, veterans, and smart justice policies and practices, impacting change where it matters most.