|I am applying for||Action Support Grant|
|FUNDS WILL BE USED TO:||Maintain/expand current ministry|
|Name of Organization||New Life Institute Inc. |
|Address||c/o St. Luke United Methodist Church|
1306 W. Lynn Street, Rm 8
Austin, TX 78703
|Contact Person||Natalie Alba|
|Title||Director of Operations|
|Explain connection to The United Methodists Church|
Our organization was founded in 1986 by Rev. Bob Breihan, a Methodist Minister serving as a pastor in the First Methodist Church in Austin, Texas (University of Texas campus). Rev. Breihan operated as the sole counselor for several years, until he subsequently began recruiting additional counselors, resulting in New Life Institute as it is today.
|How many volunteers are involved?||4|
|How many staff members?||10|
|Have you explored opportunities to collaborate with other United Methodist Churches to work toward your mission?*|
|If yes, please describe.|
We are currently seeking 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.
Our current home is at St. Luke UMC, in Room 8, where we provide in-person counseling services and testing.
Kathleen Harrington, of St. Johns UMC, arranged for a plate offering (May Communion Rail recipient) from St. Johns for one day's offering as a fundraiser for New Life.
New Life offered wellness counseling and conversations to all clergy and their spouses at the Texas Rio Conference Wellness Program in San Antonio in September and October, 2020. We received from the conference the total cost of 6 tele-health sessions.
We are in the process of reaching out to several congregations to advertise opportunities for Psychotherapists and volunteering, including board membership, as well as to inform them of our services.
Our president, Jim King, is a member of Bethany UMC. Two members from Westlake 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.
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.
2 Ph.D. Psychologists,
We maintain our daily operations and support of our therapists and clients with a part-time Director of Operations. The ability of our Director to perform her duties to our agency on a part-time basis 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, Texas Health and Human Services Commission (211 Texas), 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 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 with 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
Our current facility includes one telehealth treatment/testing office and a kitchen/break room.
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
Expansion: Telementalhealth Services
|How many individuals will be served by the funds requested?||1375|
In 2021, due to the Covid pandemic, the number of counseling sessions has been severely reduced. Consequently, New Life Institute, Inc. provided a total of 937 individual and couples/partners sessions. 438 sessions were provided to pro bono and reduced fee clients. 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.
|Grant history and reporting|
Yes, we have been fortunate enough to receive funds from the Action Support Grant for the past several years. This year we were able to provide 438 sessions for no cost or at reduced fee. This is lower than the previous year, of course, due to the reduction in our staff because of the Covid pandemic.