Our History

Via Hope traces its’ roots to the 2003 final report of the President’s New Freedom Commission Achieving the Promise, which called for fundamentally transforming the nation’s mental health system to a consumer, family, and youth-driven Recovery Model, a system in which recovery is the expected outcome for everyone with a mental health challenge.

In response, SAMHSA awarded Mental Health Transformation Grants to several states, including Texas, to begin developing the infrastructure needed to support a transformed, recovery-oriented mental health system. Via Hope is a key component of this new infrastructure. We provide training and consultation for people in recovery, their family members, youth, and mental health professionals to help make Texas’ mental health system become more focused on recovery and resilience.

Our Timeline


Via Hope is founded as a program housed within an existing nonprofit organization.  Later on, it became part of the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin.


Via Hope created its first training program for Certified Peer Specialists.


Via Hope created its training program for Certified Family Partners.


Via Hope launched the Recovery Institute, a set of programs designed to help provider organizations examine their culture and practice to become more recovery-oriented, strengths-based, person-centered, and focused on resilience.


A new nonprofit organization, Mental Health Resource of Texas, was created to be the permanent home for Via Hope. This nonprofit has operated as Via Hope since September 2014.


Via Hope created a new Reentry Peer Specialist training and certification in August 2018. The certification has created a new professional opportunity for formerly incarcerated persons to use their lived experience to help others. You can learn how creating this certification and expanding the workforce can reduce recidivism in this video.


Via Hope embarked on several national initiatives including the HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) BWHET (Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training) grant.


The HRSA and BWHET grant also allowed for the development of the state’s first Texas Workforce Commission and Department of Labor approved Peer Specialist Registered Apprenticeship Program, which allows employers to develop and prepare their workforce while providing a career path for Certified Peer Specialists across Texas.

Via Hope Today

Via Hope continues to emphasize peer support services as a key element in recovery-oriented organizations and to promote the voice and influence of all individuals with lived experience of mental health recovery within the Texas Behavioral Health System.

In addition to certification training and the Recovery Institute, Via Hope has an in-house curriculum development team comprised of Certified Peer Specialists and now offers several innovative continuing education training to support the Peer Specialist workforce.

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