1961-1963: Under the administration of President John F. Kennedy came the deinstitutionalization process aimed at returning people from institutions to their communities and providing services to them in the least restrictive environment.
1963-1964: Citizen planning groups were appointed to study Texas’ mental health and mental retardation needs. The information compiled from their surveys greatly influenced the passage of the Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act (H.B. 3) in 1965. The act created the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and authorized the creation of local boards of trustees to organize and administer community MHMR centers.
The local community centers would receive a major portion of their funding from the State’s General Revenue; however, they would not be a state agency nor a county agency. The centers would be a unit of local government.
1965: Authorization of the Nueces Center’s name was given under the legal authority of Article 5547-203 of House Bill 3 enacted in 1965 to be: MHMR Community Center of Nueces County.
1969: The Corpus Christi City Council and Nueces County Commissioners’ Court entered into a contract that established the Center in 1969. MHMR Community Center of Nueces County was designated by the State as the Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Authority of Nueces County. The Nueces County Commissioners’ Court appointed nine members to the Board of Trustees, which govern the Center.
1970-1971: Mental health services and the counseling program were expanded to include drug abuse services.
1973: The first group home for individuals with intellectual disabilities was opened.
1980s: The Center continued its development into the 1980s with a focus on efficiency of operations, effectiveness of service, priority population and quality of care. The Early Childhood Intervention Program expanded, and case management services began.
1990: MHMR Community Center of Nueces County continued on the path of expansion and improvement of services. The implementation of Continuous Quality Improvement reinforced the importance of collecting feedback from consumers about services. As a result, the Center began moving in the direction of community-based services such as the creation of the Training and Support Services Unit, the expansion of Child and Adolescent Youth Services, and the focus on Person-Centered Planning.
1991: The Center’s Foundation, a non-profit 501(c) (3), was incorporated in 1991 with the purpose to assist and support the Center in raising funds to further its mission.
Mid-1990s: The Center focused on individualized services and support, including supported employment and more “normalized” living environments such as the Home and Community-based Services. The Center achieved accreditation by The Joint Commission, demonstrating commitment to providing services which meet national standards.
2003: The Center placed 3rd in the “Best Place to Work” event sponsored by the Corpus Christi Human Resources Management Association.
2005: During the mental health crisis created by Hurricane Katrina, 6,284 persons were screened and assessed. Through a contract with the Texas Department of State Health Services, persons displaced from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were provided disaster support services and crisis counseling.
2006: The Center partnered with the City of Corpus Christi and Nueces County and was awarded a federal grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration to provide jail diversion services to persons with mental illness who interface with the criminal justice system. Over 124 law enforcement officers have received Crisis Intervention Team training through this initiative.
The 80th Texas Legislature appropriated new funds for centers to enhance the services provided to people during psychiatric crisis. The Crisis Hotline now meets national accreditation standards set by the American Association of Suicidology. A Mobile Crisis Outreach Team is available to assist law enforcement in responding to persons in crises with the goal of reducing emergency room visits and arrests.
2007: The Center was selected as “Best of the Best” by the Caller-Times Reader’s Poll.
2008: National advocacy began to “Ban the R Word” and since the “R” (retardation) word was in the Center’s name, the Center explored alternative names.
2009: The Center temporarily changed its name to MHMR of Nueces County before celebrating its 40th Anniversary on October 15, 2009. Three individuals were recognized for outstanding contributions in the mental health field: Mary Holdsworth Butt – Pioneer Award; Brad Lomax – Spirit of Independence Award; and Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa – Leadership Award.
2010-2011: “Rosa’s Law” passed - a United States law which replaced “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 5, 2010. In Texas, 36 of the 39 centers changed their names to eliminate the acronym “MHMR.”
In keeping with national directives to reduce the stigma associated with the term “Mental Retardation,” a Board Resolution was adopted to change the name of the Center to: MHMR of Nueces County – Behavioral and Development Health Services.
2012: During the October 25th meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the Planning Committee’s recommendation to do business as the Behavioral Health Center of Nueces County (BHCNC). This came about due to the national advocacy movement in 2008 to “Ban the R Word.”
2013: Patty Duke shared her personal story of recovery.
2016: Nancy Lanmon Munn performed during the Amore’ fundraising event on Saturday, May 7, 2016.
2018: A need to change the Center’s name arose again after concerns for the Center’s lack of identity and lack of name recognition in the community. Recommendation from the Foundation was given to the Board to change the Center’s name to: Nueces Center for Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities (NCMHID). The new DBA (doing business as) name accurately describes what the Center is and the services it provides.
This same year, a new program between local law enforcement agencies, mental health professionals, judges and the Nueces County Hospital District was created. The program is a collaborative agreement to help people experiencing substance abuse issues, homelessness or mental illness who come into contact with the criminal justice system. The program is composed of several pieces: jail diversion, a crisis intervention response team, mobile crisis outreach team expansion and jail-based competency restoration.
2019: The Center is celebrating its 50th Anniversary! Five decades of Service – 1969 to 2019 – to consumers in Nueces County.