About Us

Achieving a Collective, Enduring Impact on Mental and Emotional Well-Being of the Paso del Norte Region


The Paso del Norte Center for Mental and Emotional Well-being is a backbone organization (BBO) supporting the mental and emotional well-being initiatives of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. The BBO provides both leadership and expertise to catalyze efforts for collective impact in the Paso del Norte border region, with centers in El Paso, Juárez, and Southern New Mexico. To help the Foundation achieve its goals, the BBO is seeking to partner with leaders within the Behavioral Health Consortium and across universities to strategically plan, coordinate, and support its Leadership Councils and their common goals.

The Purpose

Comprising a group of academic leaders who are passionate about improving mental and emotional well-being in the region, the organization is structured to:

  • Draw upon broad content expertise across multiple relevant domains;
  • Include representatives of different professional “guilds” (e.g., psychology, social work, educational psychology, counseling, rehabilitation counseling) to provide various perspectives and bridge disciplinary issues in the community;
  • Tap into an array of professional networks at the local, state, national, and international levels;
  • Build a modular, resilient structure that survives and thrives regardless of the loss or gain of any individual leader; and
  • Develop the leadership skills and experience of a high-potential cohort of early-career mental and emotional well-being experts who have a long-term commitment to the border region by virtue of their tenure-track academic appointments.

The Goals

To achieve a collective, enduring impact on the mental and emotional well-being of the Paso del Norte region, we will strategically support the region in five overarching and interrelated domains.

  • The BBO will strategically support and increase regional coordination.
    • Assist the Leadership Councils in creating action plans, provide logistical support and staffing, and support annual Behavioral Health Consortium events.
    • Create and maintain an online portal for connecting community agencies to existing mental health expertise at regional universities, colleges, and other institutions.
    • Ensure the availability of an interactive regional directory of mental health services.
    • Ensure the accessibility of a community dashboard that will provide data to inform mental health initiatives in the region and to monitor progress of the BBO and related efforts.
    • Lead the collaborative development of annual policy briefs and a policy agenda for the region related to mental health and emotional wellbeing.
  • The BBO will identify and support effective strategies for stigma reduction and mental health literacy.
    • Provide support and expertise to the Think.Change initiative and its grantees.
    • Engage regional student organizations in efforts to promote mental and emotional well-being.
  • The BBO will strategically support and increase workforce development in mental and emotional well-being.
    • Develop and coordinate a strategic behavioral health workforce plan, and promote and sponsor evidence-based professional and para-professional trainings.
    • Introduce and/or enhance programs for students that will lead to reimbursable credentials in mental health, and to work with regional employers to identify mental health professionals appropriate for recruitment.
    • Disseminate materials for informing regional employers regarding workforce development and retention issues.
  • The BBO will develop a communications and public relations infrastructure for mental and emotional well-being in the region.
    • Develop a media presence related to mental health issues impacting the region.
  • The BBO will submit collaborative external grant proposals in mental and emotional well-being through participating universities.
    • Provide support for the preparation and submission of external grant proposals by local mental health organizations, and submit university grants with local organizations as partners.
©2018 The University of Texas at El Paso
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