Patsy Dolan Bouressa

  • Name
  • Patsy Dolan Bouressa
  • Title
  • Executive Director
  • Organization
  • SIMS Foundation
  • Years as Executive Director
  • 1 year

  • What does your organization do?
  • The SIMS Foundation is a 24-year old non-profit founded by those mourning the loss of Sims Ellison, a musician who died by suicide after years of struggling with depression. We began providing affordable mental health and substance use recovery services and supports to musicians only, but, over the years, we’ve been able to expand our reach to include music industry professionals and their dependent family members. At SIMS, we know that recovery from mental health and substance use issues is as unique as the individuals experiencing them. Therefore, we have a network of over 130 providers that provide services to our clients at a vastly reduced rate from what they would receive from a client private paying or utilizing their insurance. For example, in Austin, the average rate for one individual counseling session is $150, according to justmind.org, whereas the SIMS contracted rate for this service is $50 per session. SIMS maintains a full array of treatment and service options and clients are guided to the treatment or service that best suits their needs and level of engagement. Below is a list of the services provided through SIMS:

    Counseling Services
    • Individual Counseling
    • Couples Counseling
    • Family Counseling
    • Group and Band Counseling
    • Trauma-Specific Counseling
    • Partial Hospitalization Programs
    • Intensive Outpatient Programs

    Psychiatric Services
    • Psychiatric Assessment and Evaluation
    • Medication Management
    • Acute Psychiatric Hospitalization

    Substance Use Services and Supports
    • Medical Detoxification
    • Inpatient Rehabilitation Services
    • Partial Hospitalization Programs
    • Intensive Outpatient Programs
    • Medication Assisted Treatment
    • Peer Recovery Coaching
    • Recovery Residences

    In 2018, SIMS added a focus on prevention and education through our Music Venue Trainings (see attached information sheet). These trainings have been well received by the venues and even resulted in a new festival, the Safer Venues Fest, which took place on September 7, 2019 with 6 venues participating. In addition, we have been asked to provide these trainings to other organizations that are connected to the industry such as C3 and SXSW.

    We are also active in the community reviewing the way in which we deliver behavioral health services through advocacy, on a City/County/ State level, and by participation on many community-wide committees and workgroups.
  • How did you become interested in this work?
  • I have worked as a mental health professional since 2006 upon graduating from UT with my Masters in Social Work. I chose this path after a 15 year career as a Human Resource Manager. I had always been interested in behavioral health and decided to make that my focus upon my return to school.
  • What drives your passion?
  • Even as an HR Manager, I saw every day the difficulties that we has humans face. I am a firm believer that we all need a little help now and again and that is the foundation of my passion. But after having worked with so many different types of people, kids in residential treatment facilities, patients in psychiatric hospitals, the Texas prison system and now with the creative community, it is clear that the stigma associated with behavioral health issues remains permeated throughout society. That stigma directly impacts people’s access to care. That is what drives me to do this work.
  • Did you have a mentor or role model?
  • I have had too many to count. I love collaborating with others and learning from them. I love that I pretty much learn something new every day!
  • What's the biggest challenge in your work?
  • Fundraising is the most challenging. I suppose that is the number one biggest challenge for any non-profit!
  • What's the best advice that you have ever received?
  • Remember to have fun and never forget self-care. The work we do as mental health professionals is very emotionally draining. Remembering to appreciate the silly things that happen throughout the course of a day and to find what works for you with regards to self-care is paramount.
  • What are your top tips for new Executive Directors?
  • Collaborate with other organizations. Be open to all ideas! Have fun.

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