Texas’ Planned Living Assistance Network

Taking care of someone who is mentally ill and cannot function on their own is taxing, time-consuming, and draining.

In 1990 two parents noted that relatives of adults with mental illness assume long-term roles of caregivers and case managers. Two years later in April 1994 PLAN of North Texas hired its first experienced psychiatric social worker and case management services began three months later.

The Planned Living Assistance Network is a member of the National Plan Alliance and is located in Dallas, TX. The National Plan (Planned Lifetime Assistance Network) is the umbrella organization for 26 PLAN organizations located in 20 states.

PLAN of North Texas staff, working with the family, develops a personal care plan for immediate or future services and the delivery of the services.

“Several times in the past few months my daughter has said, ‘Thanks, Mom for signing me up with PLAN’ and I have closed my eyes and given thanks that PLAN is here for us and for families who have loved ones with serious mental illness,” said one mother.

A key component of care continuity is how to pay for the services previously provided by the family and in the future to be provided by a service provider such as PLAN of North Texas. In a recent survey conducted by the organization 85 percent reported that the quality of life had improved for their family member with mental illness.

Membership is $50 annually for friends, $150 for sponsoring, and $1,000 for one-time lifetime membership. Professionals pay $100 annually.

Mental health professionals argue that success in dealing with people with a mental illness derives from having a broad range of high quality programs delivered consistently over time.

The personal care plan deals with events that will occur in the future but it also concerns itself with current needs.

Staff of the private, non-profit agency say that it is this broad and coordinated approach that separates PLAN of North Texas from other service providers who may offer but one or two programs found at PLAN of North Texas.

In 1995 a program to provide clients with opportunities to form friendships and to learn social interaction skills was begun, a respite service was started to provide temporary case management to a client when the caregiving family was required to be elsewhere, and in 1996 planning began for a housing program that ultimately culminated in the completion in 1999 of IRIS Place, a HUD funded facility comprised of one bedroom apartments and a community center.

In 1997 PLAN of North Texas sponsored the Texas Attorney’s Planning Guide for Representing Families of Persons with Disabilities.

The Long Range Planning Committee developed a training program for adults with mental illness of PLAN of North Texas member families.
An executive director was hired in August of 2002 to direct the staff and oversee development of the organization.

For more information call 972-792-9603.

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