August 31, 2023
$500,000 donated to CFT's Support for Allen Fund
More than 650 individuals, families, and businesses have given a combined $500,000 to CFT’s Support for Allen Fund to assist local nonprofits providing resources and services in response to the tragic mass shooting at Allen Premium Outlets. Grants from the fund are being made to nonprofits providing mental health, grief, and trauma support for the victims and their families, as well as the impacted first responders.
Initial grants totaling $115,000 have been awarded to LifePath Systems and the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. Additional grants will be awarded in the coming months for ongoing and long-term recovery services.
Grantee Spotlight: LifePath Systems
Amount Awarded: $75,000
Grant Purpose: To support ongoing mental health and trauma services to Allen and Collin County community members and those impacted by the shooting.
LifePath Systems is the designated behavioral health and intellectual and developmental disabilities authority for Collin County, operating as a unit of local government and a nonprofit center to provide essential mental health, substance use, intellectual and developmental disability services to families and individuals. The team at LifePath worked quickly and closely with the City of Allen to open and staff the Family Assistance Center after the mass shooting, where they provided free grief and trauma support to victims and those impacted.
Their staff went store to store to provide support at the Allen Premium Outlets as they reopened. LifePath now continues to host a hotline for anyone affected, offering services at no-cost.
“This initial grant funding from CFT’s Support for Allen Fund is helping significantly as we onboard additional staff and contractors, and as we continue our outreach and education to ensure that those impacted are aware of the trauma response counseling and therapy resources available to them," said Tammy Mahan, Chief Executive Officer at LifePath Systems.
This grant will support the new Center for Healing in partnership LifePath Systems, known as a community resiliency center, on their McKinney campus, where licensed therapists and crisis counselors will work closely with those affected by the shooting. They will also offer specialized therapy for youth experiencing mental health issues, and are working closely with school districts to ensure parents and students have access to resources. For more information, call LifePath at 972-422-5939 or visit CenterforHealingTX.org.
Grantee Spotlight: Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
Amount Awarded: $40,500
Grant Purpose: Funding for the DFW First Responders Support Network that provided clinical services to officers who responded to the shooting and their families, as well as support for the new “Blue Chip” program that helps officers access confidential mental health services.
The Texas Law Enforcement Peer Network (TLEPN) was established in 2022 by the UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute and is a trailblazing statewide peer support initiative that is accessible around the clock to Texas law enforcement officers. This confidential and anonymous network seeks to ensure the well-being of those who commit themselves to safeguarding our communities, connecting officers with trained peers equipped to assist with managing stress, trauma, and fatigue.
In response to the mass shooting in Allen, TLEPN and the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute/Caruth Police Institute formulated a response plan launched at the Allen Police Department to provide mental health resources to impacted officers and their families. Clinical support was provided by the DFW First Responders Support Network, which consists of more than 40 culturally competent clinicians who saw 120 unique visits in the initial three weeks following the tragedy.
The Texas Blue Chip Program
In response to events such as the May 2023 shooting in Allen, in late August, the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute introduced the Texas Blue Chip Program, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at offering North Texas law enforcement oﬃcers an additional access point for conﬁdential and free mental health services in collaboration with TLEPN.
"While oﬃcers may have avenues for private mental health care through insurance or peer networks, many still hesitate to seek help, even in the aftermath of traumatic incidents. The Texas Blue Chip Program offers an additional anonymous channel through which oﬃcers can obtain assistance on their own terms," said B.J. Wagner, senior vice president of health and public safety at the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.
The Texas Blue Chip Program introduces specially designed poker chips that are accessible at police stations throughout the region and virtually on the TLEPN app. These chips grant an oﬃcer access to free, discreet, and conﬁdential counseling sessions with mental health providers.
The urgency of this program is underscored by the distressing statistic that Texas recorded the highest number of law enforcement oﬃcer suicides in 2022, with a total of 16 lives lost.
Learn more about the Texas Blue Chip Program
Read this news in the media:
Dallas Morning News
Fort Worth Report
KRLD News Radio 1080
WFAA (Video Clip)