Strategies to address needs of people with co-occurring IDD and mental health disorders have been a longstanding priority for Texas Council.

The prevalence of co-occurring mental health conditions in individuals with IDD is approximately 40%, with persistent mental health conditions around 30%.

Over the course of several legislative sessions, Texas Council has supported the appropriation of funding for, as well as development and implementation of, the following initiatives:

  • Outpatient Biopsychosocial Approach for IDD Services (OBI) Pilot
  • Crisis services
  • Transition support teams
  • Criminal justice interface
Outpatient Biopsychosocial Approach for IDD Services (OBI) Pilot

The OBI Pilot was established to increase access to outpatient mental health services and supports for individuals with IDD. Five Local IDD Authorities participate in the pilot to develop a model and resources to expand these IDD specialized services. The OBI sites provide collaborative care case management and skills training to participants and, if needed, their circles of support; develop biopsychosocial assessment tools and resources; and engage community partners through education and training opportunities.

Local IDD Authorities providing OBI services:

  • Bluebonnet Trails Community Services
  • Integral Care
  • Lakes Regional Community Center
  • MHMR of Tarrant County
  • The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD

In addition to the OBI Pilot, most Centers are Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs), using a framework for individuals to receive integrated care, including providing access to mental health and substance use disorder services for people with IDD.

Crisis Services

Local IDD Authorities provide crisis services to individuals with IDD and their families. Specifically, crisis intervention services and crisis respite services are available to individuals and families who are experiencing a crisis or at risk of crisis. These services are available for individuals with high medical, mental health, or behavioral needs and seek to reduce hospitalization, incarceration, and other forms of institutionalization.

Transition Support Teams (TST)

The State of Texas contracts with eight Local IDD Authorities to establish Transition Support Teams (TST) that provide medical, behavioral, and psychiatric support for Local IDD Authorities and community IDD waiver providers within each designated service area. Each TST provides educational activities, technical assistance, and case review for individuals with IDD who at risk of being admitted into an institution, and those who have transitioned to the community from an institutional setting.

Criminal Justice Interface

If individuals with IDD interact with law enforcement officers, it is imperative to quickly identify individuals with IDD and divert them from – or transition them out of – jails. Local IDD Authorities receive daily jail reports regarding individuals who are detained and may have received or are currently receiving services from the local authority. Additionally, ongoing initiatives are focused on training jail staff about individuals with IDD, improving jail intake processes to more accurately gauge if a person may have an IDD, and developing best practices when an individual with IDD is detained.