Local nonprofit Bluebonnet Trails Community Services served 22,000 people last year, according to the group’s Executive Director, Andrea Richardson. Williamson County residents accounted for nearly half of the clients, and Round Rock was the No. 1 location served, Richardson said.
The nonprofit started in 1997 as a mental health center serving residents in Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Lee and Williamson counties.
Over the past two decades, services have expanded to include resources for autism, early childhood intervention, substance addiction, primary health care and more.
Now, Bluebonnet Trails directly serves eight counties—the original six plus Guadalupe and Gonzalez counties. Bluebonnet Trails also accepts substance addiction referrals from 30 counties statewide.
Richardson said Bluebonnet Trails’ expansion over the past 22 years reflects the needs of a growing community.
“Over the years, we knew there were gaps in services in the areas that we served,” Richardson said.
Medical Director Mark Janes said many Williamson County residents who receive services from Bluebonnet Trails face anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. About 50% of those seeking mental health services also suffer from a substance abuse disorder, he said.
As Williamson County continues to grow, Janes said opioid-related issues are on the rise as well. As a result, Bluebonnet Trails has increased naloxone treatments—which can treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency—and residential detox centers.
Director of Business Development and Services Paul Sisler said many of those seeking multifaceted services from Bluebonnet Trails are often additionally burdened by issues in employment, transportation and income.
“They tend to be our poorest and sickest people in our community,” Sisler said.
To address this, Sisler said Bluebonnet Trails provides employment benefit consultations, financial assistance and transportation.
Increased populations in Hutto brought Bluebonnet Trails into the school district. The nonprofit operates a clinic at Hutto High School with a full-time nurse practitioner, counseling, immunizations and more.
Bluebonnet Trails Community Services
1009 N. Georgetown St., Round Rock
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sat.-Sun.