New Life Institute, Inc.

I am applying forAction Support Grant
FUNDS WILL BE USED TO:Maintain/expand current ministry
Name of OrganizationNew Life Institute, Inc.
Address1306 W Lynn St.
Room #8.
Austin, TX 78703
Map It
Contact PersonNatalie Alba
TitleDirector of Operations
EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
Phone(512) 469-9447
Amount requested5000
Explain connection to The United Methodists Church

New Life Institute was founded in 1986 by the late Rev. Bob Breihan, a former (retired) minister of the First United Methodist Church, Austin, Texas. Rev. Breihan was a minister offering professional counseling to the community who, after retiring from the church, founded New Life to continue and expand his counseling work into more areas of service, including psychotherapy, psychological testing, training of PhD candidates, licensed professional counselor interns, and social worker interns. The Institute has benefited from support of the United Methodist Church Capital District, local UMC churches, and contacts made by Bob Breihan in his many years of service to the Austin community.

How many volunteers are involved?4
How many staff members?14
Have you explored opportunities to collaborate with other United Methodist Churches to work toward your mission?*
  • yes
If yes, please describe.

We continue to seek opportunities to collaborate with local United Methodist Churches to expand the availability of Mental Health services to more locations in the community by establishing and administering satellite offices, and/ or rooms for Telemental Health services in church facilities.

Over the years, we have enjoyed the support of congregations and pastoral staff in Bethany UMC, St. Mark UMC, Servant UMC, Memorial UMC, Life in the City UMC, Wesley UMC, and Westlake UMC. We have had remote locations at Westlake UMC, as well as having the honor of two of the members of Westlake UMC serve on our board. Westlake UMC have provided volunteer and financial support to us for many years.

Our former Executive Director, Kaye Love, offered a presentation to the Stephen's Ministers Conference at Bethany UMC on April 8, 2019.

We continue to reach out to United Methodist Healthcare Ministries to explore opportunities for collaborative care in congregations that house Wesley Nurses, including exploration of Social Work Field Instruction opportunities for interdisciplinary Behavioral Health and Congregational Social Work to be offered to Master level Social Work students of the University of Texas at Austin and at the University of Texas at Arlington.

On May 2, 2021, New Life will present a video celebrating National Mental Health Month to the congregation of St. John's UMC, In turn, St. John's congregaton will offer the proceeds of their offering for that day.

We have developed literature, to provide to Pastors to assist them in developing skills for referring congregants who are having difficulty. A survey was developed to allow us to better understand the mental health needs found in local faith communities so that we can explore offering congregational services to address them.

We continue to reach out to several congregations to advertise opportunities for Psychotherapists and volunteering, including board membership, as well as to inform them of our services. Several of our current volunteer leaders are members or pastors of local United Methodist Churches.

Our president, Jim King, is a member of Bethany UMC.

Two members from Westlake United UMC, Bob and Mary Lou Batlin, served on our board until June of 2017 when they stepped down after many years of dedicated service. They are still serving by advocating for their church to maintain a supportive relationship with us

The document to train pastors in referring congregants and the survey to determine the mental health service needs of the local faith communities are in our computer database. However, our computer is currently inoperative due to a software failure. The documents in question will be sent to the Capital District office just as soon as repairs are completed.

Congregational support

We have one PhD volunteer who sees clients for free and her fees are donated directly to New Life Inc. Many of our psychotherapists participate in our mission by volunteering to take on some clients that qualify for a fee reduction, or pro-bono services, or provide supervision to students and interns who provide those services. Half of our clients help support our mission by either paying a fee for service or donating to our mission.

We currently have the following multidisciplinary group of dedicated Psychotherapists that work on a fee split arrangement that provides us with 30 percent of their counseling revenues.

3 Ph.D. Psychologists,
1 Psy.D, Licensed Psychologist,
7 Licensed Professional Counselors,
1 Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists,
1 Licensed Master Social Worker,
1 Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist – Supervisor.
Two Licensed Professional Counselor - Interns see low income clients for the fee they are able to pay.

We maintain our daily operations and support of our therapists and clients with a part-time Manager (Director of Operations) and a part-time Psychotherapist. The contribution of volunteer time to our agency assists us with keeping our administrative expenses well below thirty percent (30%) of our budget.

How does your mission fulfill the purpose of the grant you are requesting?

New Life Institute is a non-profit counseling & training organization, dedicated to changing lives by providing professional services to those in emotional or spiritual need, regardless of ability to pay. For over 30 years we have brought together the resources of the Austin community, including the important support we get from the United Methodist Church, to promote reconciliation, restoration and renewal for those seeking healing and growth to improve and enhance their psychological well-being and spiritual wholeness. We provide people in our community with Psychotherapy, Psychological Testing at a fee that is affordable based on their income and family situation. Care Coordination services are offered for no fee.

Psychotherapy services assists people to deal with challenges they face because of mental illness, trauma, relationship conflict or other stressors, so they may experience a reduction of distress and increase their level of social and occupational functioning. We are committed to maintaining our ability to refer new clients to counselors quickly, so they typically start counseling within 3-5 days after contacting us. We are still proud to say that we do NOT have a waiting list for psychotherapy services.

Psychological testing provides individuals with information to better understand their difficulties, inform future care and provide documentation for accommodation requests to improve academic and/or occupational functioning. These are very expensive tests if obtained elsewhere and are offered at low/no cost to students and employees from Austin and surrounding communities. We have established a reputation for quality testing services and regularly receive referrals from community sources such as Austin Community College, The University of Texas, St. Edward’s University, the Seminary of the Southwest, and school districts in the Austin area.

Our Care Coordination program provides resource referrals and resource application assistance to individuals with low incomes. These services have assisted clients with accessing low cost medication, enhancing their progress in psychotherapy, Medicare, Food Stamps, home repair and weatherization, bed bug extermination and other important social services. This program has been active when a Social
Work student is available, and we are planning to expand it as a part of our training program for counselors as well.

All our programs offer valuable educational experience to the next generation of Mental Health professionals (Counselors, Psychologists, and Social Workers) who have the opportunity to gain knowledge from dedicated experienced professionals. We are one of the few training sites where Interns earn payment for services as they complete the supervised experience required for full licensure. Young professionals from lower income families are at a disadvantage at this time of their career when many agencies expect them to be able to work without pay.

We contribute to the development of future Ministers by maintaining our affiliation with the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (APTS) and the Seminary of the Southwest (SSW) to provide low-cost therapy for their students that have been subsidized by both of those entities. We believe in supporting those students who are growing in their faith and have been called to serve others. As with all who bear witness to those who have emotional and spiritual counseling needs, counseling services are a part of their personal growth and understanding of self as they learn about the journey of others who come to them for guidance.

We plan to continue to explore creative means of reaching out to clients and congregations with our mission of changing lives by providing professional services to those woth emotional and spiritual need, regardless of ability to pay.

This year we are seeking to offer more inclusive services by seeking facilities that are accessible to individuals with disabilities. By establishing satellite offices in local congregations, and Telementalhealth facilities to provide remote services through internet technology in underserved areas, we hope to reach a broader segment of the community who have needs that are currently not being addressed by others.

Expansion: Access for Individuals with Disabilities

A portion of the funds will be used for relocation, and remodeling of a new facility (if needed). We have been required to leave our current donated space due to the expansion plans of the Seminary of the Southwest which include building student housing. We are committed to approaching this move as opportunity to increase access to our services by seeking a facility that is accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Our current leased facility at St. Luke UMC includes a single room for face to face treatments, which we intend to use after the pandemic lifts. We have the possibility of expanding to a second room at this faciltiy when we feel it is appropriate to do so. Although finding a new home is a challenge, we believe the benefits our services provide to the community will attract the support we need to continue. We are excited about the new opportunities for expanding our services and our outreach resulting from this relocation and believe that this transition with be very beneficial to the community.

Expansion: Congregational Services

The outreach program we are in the process of implementing includes a focus on providing information on referral and education on mental health issues to pastors and lay leaders. We will seek to assist their congregations and communities to become more welcoming and inclusive to those who struggle with mental illness, trauma and other forms of spiritual and emotional distress.

Expansion: Telementalhealth Services

Another need we have for funding is for the technology and furnishing we need to offer Telementalhealth services at remote sites, so that services may be expanded to areas that are underserved. We have moved our paper record system to Electronic Medical Records in order to keep up with modern standards of care and enhance client treatment by improving information available to our clinicians.

How many individuals will be served by the funds requested?2000

Most of our clients are part of our community. We see UT students, Central Austin residents, and we serve veterans and the elderly population nearby. We are proud to continue
serving members of our Austin community who would not otherwise be able to afford quality counseling assistance for their emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs.

Funding Partner Amount
City of Austin-2020 Covid Relief for Small Businesses $20,000
Grant history and reporting

Yes, we have been fortunate enough to receive funds from the Action Support Grant for the past several years. Last year we were able to provide many sessions for no cost or at reduced fee. We expect to see this ratio continue to rise as more people are moving to high deductible plans with higher copayments or dropping their insurance coverage due to increases in premiums.

Other Sources of funds Amount
2020 UMC Capital District $5,000
Community Partners Amount
PPP Forgiveness Loan (Federal Covid Relief) $5,800
Austin Jung Society $500
Ministry BudgetNLI-2021-Sham-Budget.xlsx
Comments or additional information

Supporting documents, New Life 2021 Budget, Training Manual for Pastor referrals, and Survey regarding local faith community needs, will be emailed to Jill Barre as soon as our computer repairs have been completed.