Posted: 8/23/17

TAMIU Part of $2 Million Hogg Foundation Award to Improve Mental Health in Schools


Dr. Ediza Garcia
Dr. Ediza Garcia  

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) is one of seven Texas nonprofit entities receiving grants from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin to improve student academic achievement by supporting mental health. The grants, which total $1.9 million, continue the Foundation’s longstanding commitment to child and adolescent mental health, its growing investment in early intervention and prevention, and its support of humane, evidence-based alternatives to punitive disciplinary practices. 

TAMIU’s College of Arts and Sciences’ department of Psychology and Communication will receive a Hogg Foundation grant of $115,000 to support the implementation of mental health literacy workshops that promote academic success and help-seeking behaviors among Hispanic college freshmen.  Principal investigator for the TAMIU project is associate professor of Counseling Psychology Dr. Ediza García. Dr. García has previously received grants from the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity. She has been a member of the TAMIU faculty since 2015.

She said the grant represents a remarkable TAMIU graduate student opportunity.

“This is a three-year grant that concludes in June 2020.  It’s truly a unique opportunity for our Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology students to provide mental health literacy workshops to TAMIU freshmen.  We anticipate that this transfer of relatable information on topics such as healthy relationships and depression will improve academic achievement,” Dr. García explained. 

According to the Foundation, researchers have found that 2 out of 3 students in the U.S. are likely to have experienced one or more traumatic events by age 17. There is also a growing consensus among educators and researchers that student mental health is a critical factor in academic achievement. However, teachers and faculty members typically have limited training to effectively respond to student mental health challenges.  

Octavio N. Martínez, Jr., executive director of the Hogg Foundation and associate vice president for diversity and community engagement at UT Austin, explained the Foundation’s motivation.

“Texans are increasingly demanding a fully resourced mental health system for kids, one that gets them on a productive path that doesn’t lead to dropping out or incarceration. These grantees are pioneering efforts to ensure that students get the emotional support they need to thrive,” Martínez said.

Other grant awardees included Baylor University, Diana Garland School of Social Work, the Children’s Grief Center of El Paso, Communities in Schools of North Texas, Lockhart Independent School District, the University of North Texas, Department of Counseling and Higher Education and the University of Texas at Austin, Counseling and Mental Health Center. 

The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by funding mental health services, policy analysis, research and public education. It was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at UT Austin.  

For additional information, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu click on tamiu.edu, or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, Suite 268.  Information is also available on the University’s social media sites on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.



Related Link: Hogg Foundation Blog Post