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Department of Psychiatry

Houston, Texas

The Alkek Building at Baylor College of Medicine
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Residents Outreach Program


PROPS: Psychiatry Residents Outreach to the Public Sector

PROPS was originally created by a group of residents at Baylor in the mid-1980’s to organize efforts for community service and thereby enhance resident participation in the public sector. In 1985, Dr. John Battaglia, then a second-year resident, worked with Houston Independent School District and Houston Psychiatric Society to address mental illness among children. He created a course on suicide awareness which residents taught in area middle schools. This became the beginning of PROPS. Years later the activities of PROPS have multiplied such that there are now many programs in which residents participate each year. Though there are faculty mentors involved with the program, including Dr. Asghar-Ali, the efforts are provided entirely by residents.

Current PROPS Projects

Building Bridges
One of the many educational outreach events organized by PROPS is the Building Bridges event which is held each Spring. This event is a community-wide panel discussion designed for mental health providers, religious leaders and laypersons to explore the challenges our community faces with regards to their spiritual and mental health. Our goal is to address the misconceptions of mental health treatments, to reduce the stigma associated with pursuing care for emotional illness and to enhance the interface between spirituality and mental wellness.

Interprofessional Drug Education Alliance (IDEA)
In this drug-education program developed by the Harris County Medical Society and the Houston Bar Association, physicians and attorneys present information on medical and legal consequences of drugs to local fifth grade classrooms. In the past, The Health Museum has helped to enhance the presentations by lending models to program participants.

National Depression Screening Day & National Anxiety Disorders Screening Project
In the fall, mental health providers volunteer with the Houston Psychiatric Society to conduct free, confidential screenings and address concerns about depression on National Depression Screening Day. Each Spring, Baylor residents host one of the sites for the National Anxiety Disorders Screening Project, as a way to educate the public about anxiety disorders, provide screenings, and facilitate access to treatment.

Capital Day
The Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians organizes lobbying efforts to speak with Texas Congress members regarding legislation that is likely to influence the care of psychiatric patients. Practicing physicians, residents, mental health professionals, patients, and family members travel to the Capitol and learn about pertinent mental health issues in the particular legislative session. Participants then lobby their representatives on these issues and explain how the
legislation would affect psychiatric care in Texas. PROPS helps coordinate the Baylor resident representative to this important political event.

Mental Health Curriculum
The Mental Health Association of Greater Houston organizes psychiatrists to speak to various community organizations to increase awareness and provide basic knowledge in five modules: Mental health basics, handling mental health emergencies, assessing community resources, child/adolescent mental health, and mental health and aging.

In addition, we provide many mental health awareness lectures, workshops, and other presentations to our very diverse population and the mental health providers who serve them. PROPS has organized local radio shows, mental health forums, interinstitutional collaborations, in addition to formidable lecture series with community partners and Texas Medical Center hospitals. we strive to enhance resident-community communication, education and synergy in our efforts.


Program Contact


Tiffany Black, M.D.

Petra Pilgrim, M.D.