Prevention and Behavioral Health Promotion

Texas' comprehensive prevention and behavioral health promotion approach includes prevention activities and services in many settings directed at people who have not been determined to require treatment for a substance use disorder. Our program also includes promotion strategies that increase protective factors, are trauma informed, and align with best practices as outlined by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Spectrum of Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral interventions. Texas Prevention strategies are:

  • Evidence-based curricula to school and community sites;
  • Community-based collaborative partnerships comprised of individuals and organizations;
  • Regional centers that work on data collections and distribution, tobacco compliance and training;
  • A statewide media campaign;
  • Statewide tobacco compliance and enforcement;
  • A statewide coordinated system of training to enhance behavioral health workforce development in Texas; and
  • Community-based organizations delivering services focused on addressing trauma and reducing the onset of substance use.

Grantees providing prevention and behavioral health promotion services must follow Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Strategic Prevention Framework model (PDF) as a guide to assist in planning and implementing prevention strategies, programs, and related activities.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission's (HHSC) Mental Health and Substance Use Programs funds more than 200 school- and community-based programs statewide to address consequences and problem behaviors related to the state's four prevention priorities: underage alcohol use, commercial tobacco and nicotine products use, marijuana and other cannabinoid use, and prescription drug misuse, and the use and misuse of other substances. The Prevention and Behavioral Health Promotion team procures for five individual program types:

  • Community Coalition Partnerships engage and mobilize various sectors of the community to implement evidence-based environmental strategies with a primary focus on changing policies and influencing social norms related to substance use.
  • Prevention Resource Centers increase the capacity of the statewide prevention and behavioral health promotion system by enhancing community collaboration, increasing community awareness and readiness, providing information and resources on substance use and related behavioral health data, supporting professional development of the prevention workforce, and providing resources for evaluation activities within each service region. Prevention Resource Centers also support the federal Synar requirement by conducting voluntary tobacco retail compliance checks throughout the state to help reduce youth access to tobacco and other nicotine products.
  • Youth Prevention Indicated programs address people because of initiative behaviors and related risk factors that place them at an elevated risk for substance use and misuse. While the target population might show early signs of substance use and misuse, indicated services are not designed for people with a diagnosable substance use disorder.
  • Youth Prevention Selective programs address specific subgroups of the general population known to have risk factors that increase the likelihood of substance use and misuse.
  • Youth Prevention Universal programs address the general public or subgroups with average probability of developing a substance use disorder, risk or condition.

The primary strategy and intervention employed by the Youth Prevention Programs is the delivery of evidence-based curricula approved by HHSC.

In addition to the above programs, Prevention and Behavioral Health Promotion also maintains the following programs:

  • The Texas Tobacco Enforcement Program (TEP) enforces Texas Tobacco Law. As part of TEP, the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University solicits local law enforcement agencies to submit applications for the purpose of conducting controlled buy or stings and follow-up controlled buy of tobacco permitted and e-cigarette retail outlets statewide. For more information on how to participate in this program visit Texas State - Tobacco Enforcement Program.
  • Texas Prevention Training provides prevention and behavioral health promotion contractors with prevention-related training and technical -assistance services to support and enhance workforce development in Texas. Contractors can request training through their regional Prevention Resource Center, which will then coordinate their requests with the statewide training entity to deliver, develop and promote these requested trainings. For more information visit Texas Prevention Training.
  • The Turn To Media Campaign is a public health campaign delivering prevention and behavioral health promotion messages in English and Spanish through social media platforms, television, and radio public service announcements, print materials and other media. The campaign seeks to provide Texas youth, young adults and parents with resources to cope successfully with trauma, stress and anxiety escalated by COVID-19 and health disparities, and thereby reduce the rate of substance use disorders that typically rise under adverse circumstances. The campaign also informs Texas community leaders about the risk and protective factors that contribute to behavioral health issues so that these leaders can make decisions that best support their community’s wellness. For more information visit visit Turn To.
  • The Innovative Healing Center Project (IHCP) promotes resiliency, social connection and healing for Texans who are at-risk for substance misuse. These projects address adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and emergent behavioral health needs that have been exacerbated due to COVID-19 among underserved and historically marginalized communities, as defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. IHCPs are funded throughout the state to provide non-clinical supportive services to people who have experienced ACEs or have emergent behavioral health needs exacerbated by COVID-19.

Prevention and Behavioral Health Program Guide

For contract-specific requirements such as quarterly and yearly goals for performance measures, target populations, and required evidence-based curriculum, the contractor must refer to the Prevention and Behavioral Health Promotion Program Guide (PDF) and the statements of work (specified for each of their programs' contracts).