Mental Health Agency Assists Hurricane Victims

The Mental Health/Mental Retardation (MHMR) Agency of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, TX has been flooded with new patients seeking assistance who have relocated from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

“I’ve been slammed with people,” said a caseworker who wished to remain anonymous. “I knew we were going to get all these people. My clients come in on the bus.”

MHMR is one of the 25 largest community mental health and mental retardation centers in the nation. The agency also offers addiction services and early childhood intervention.

The Mental Health Services branch of the business provides treatment and assistance to seriously and persistently ill mentally ill adults and seriously emotionally disturbed children and teenagers.

The Mental Retardation Services part of the organization provides services and support for eligible persons with mental retardation or pervasive development disorder in individual, family, and foster homes as well as alternative living residencies and small group homes. Requirements are that you live in Tarrant County, TX, be at least three years old or older, must be diagnosed with mental retardation, autism, or pervasive development disorder, and you must meet criteria for admission to the specific program.

The Addiction Services department provides medically supervised detoxification for adults, short-term residential treatment and intensive and supportive outpatient counseling for adults and teenagers, DWI Repeat Offender, and anger control education classes; and HIV management and outreach services. Addiction Services also offers specialized services for women with children HIV positive clients, homeless individuals, people who are dually diagnosed (both mental illness and substance abuse).

The Client Rights Department advocates for the rights and protection of the clients served at MHMR.

Advocacy for client’s rights and protections is accomplished by the actions participating in training employees, investigating allegations of rights violations, receiving and evaluating all complaints received on the complaint line, representing the clients during staff meetings, serving as a member on the Human Rights Committee and on the Institutional Review board, serving as liaison with Protective and Regulatory Services’ Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Texas Department of Human Services) and other licensing authorities, and providing consultation to families and clients

The Texas Department of MHMR offices of Client Services and Rights Protection may be contacted at 1-800-252-8154.

By current estimates nearly a quarter million people affected by Katrina have been evacuated to Texas. As of Sept. 6th evacuees were also being sheltered in Lubbock among other cities.

For more information call 817-569-4600.

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