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TFID offers free health help to area seniors

“When basic needs are not being met, it’s hard to get past fear,” said Brooke Harris. “Uncertainty brings a lot of stress.”

Harris is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified School Counselor in Stephenville that is serving as the Grant Administrator for Texans Reducing Food Insecurity and Depression (TFID).

TFID seeks to aid residents, age 55 and over, of the 76401, 76402 and 76446 ZIP codes with vital internal and external health needs, by addressing depression and social isolation while also aiding in their access to healthy food.

“People are afraid to go out and get food,” Harris said in relation to the health concerns of senior citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Many are unable to go out and get that social interaction they need.”

Recognizing these needs, Tarleton State University’s College of Health Science and Human Services was awarded the TFID grant through the Texas Health Resources community impact initiative.

Through the grant Tarleton and its nine community partners aim to provide:

  • Referral Services
  • Free Mindfulness-Based Cognition Therapy (MBCT) Counseling 
  • Local Food Bank Enrichment
  • Community Garden
  • Education and Trainings
  • Cooking Classes Eldercare/Caregiver conference
  • Transportation Support

Harris reported that the grant phase started last June, but partners in the program have recently focused on making sure that Dubliners 55 & over know they are eligible for these benefits and that there is no shame in seeking them, especially when so many are struggling with basic needs.

Harris particularly spoke positively of the free eight-week MBCT counseling course that was selected by Tarleton’s Dr. Julie Merriman in authoring the grant.

“People tend to see it as more of a luxury item to get mental help,” Harris said, adding that our mental health can be hit hard if we are worrying how we are going to eat or are stricken by loneliness.

“Our hope is that this is something that will enable them to live better and feel better,” said Harris. “We want to see that not only are their basic needs being met, but we want to help them to live happier, more contented lives.)

Harris also said the program will include an inaugural {virtual) caregiver conference set for Oct. 24, offering free information and CEUs for those who care for older people, no matter if the caregiver is family or professional.

TFID also has many volunteer opportunities who would like to help enrich their neighbors’ lives.

If you feel called to help or you are 55 years old and seeking help in uncertain times, call (254) 413-0883 or visit

Tarleton is partnered in the TFID program with AgirLife Erath County, Basic Needs- Graham Street Church of Christ, Bunker Hill Apartments, Cowboy Capital Mental Health Connection, Grace Place First Baptist, Hope Inc., Meals on Wheels of Erath County, Stephenville Senior Citizens Center and Stephenville Crossing Apartments.

Dublin Citizen

938 N. Patrick
Dublin, TX 76446
254-445-4116 (f)