The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute has announced a $20 million gift from longtime mental health advocates James and Maureen Hackett to create a regional mental health policy center in Houston, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The gift, to be paid in full by 2020, will be used to create a center initially focused on providing mental health services to children and adults affected by Hurricane Harvey. The center also will work to strengthen mental health service delivery in Harris County schools — an effort that Meadows already is engaged in as part of a state task force charged with increasing such services in educational settings affected by Harvey.
According to a December survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Houston-based Episcopal Health Foundation, nearly 20 percent of more than sixteen hundred Texans in twenty-four counties affected by Harvey said their mental health was worse after the storm.
The Hacketts have a long history of supporting mental health causes in the region, including gifts to the Harris County Felony Mental Health Court, the Harris Center for Intellectual and Developmental Disability, the Alzheimer's Association, and the American Psychiatric Foundation. The gift to Meadows is the largest ever made by the couple, however. Jim Hackett was the CEO of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and president and COO of Devon Energy Corp., while Maureen Hackett, a former pharmaceutical sales rep and philanthropy executive, also worked as a substitute teacher.
"For some time, we've recognized the need for a dedicated presence in Houston to coordinate mental health practices," said Meadows president and CEO Andy Keller. "The Hackett Center for Mental Health in Houston will provide data-driven insights into what works and mobilize health system and government leaders to make hard decisions of how best to provide those treatments to more people."