Families need an accessible, affordable place to get quality mental health care.
Allison Sallee, executive director of Tejas Family Guidance Center, said that was her primary motivation for founding the Westlake–area nonprofit in 2010.
"I have worked for a long time in the field, and I would see so many families struggle to get the care they needed," Sallee wrote in an email.
She said the reception from the community has been positive. Many families in areas west of Austin need more convenient access to care and appreciate not having to fight traffic to get to the city center, she said.
She emphasized that socioeconomic status has little to do with the need for or access to services.
"Although many people in Westlake have higher means of incomes, there are many families who have children with special needs that are not covered by insurance or fully covered by school services," she wrote. "We have so many families, who, on paper, look like they can afford a full fee; however, they are also having to pay out of pocket for many services that are often not covered. This is especially true for families with children on the autism spectrum."
Office manager Casey Jackson-Conklin said sessions at TFGC are offered on a sliding scale, with the average cost being $10–$30 per session. The center offers individual and group therapy for children, adolescents, adults, couples and families.
Other services include parenting skills groups, marriage and family therapy and more. Sallee—who receives no salary from her work at TFGC—is bilingual in English and Spanish; the center welcomes Spanish-speaking clients, too.