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Hogg Communications on Mental Health
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

December, 2009

Today’s Clips – December 17, 2009 


This summary of recent news and research articles on mental health topics was prepared as a public service by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.


NOTE: Media sites may require a one-time free registration and academic and science journal sites may require a paid subscription to access articles.





Hogg Foundation seeks proposals for mental health research

Behavioral Healthcare

December 16, 2009


Austin, TX — Tenure-track assistant professors at institutions of higher education in Texas are eligible to apply for mental health research grants of up to $15,000 each from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.





Same Diagnosis, Different Prescription

Texas Tribune

December 17, 2009


In the political posturing over federal health care reform, the physician fraternity stands divided. The Texas Medical Association staunchly opposes the measure Congress is considering. The American Medical Association cautiously supports it.



Ex-El Pasoan to head UTEP nursing school

El Paso Times

December 12, 2009


EL PASO -- Even though Elías Provencio-Vásquez left El Paso when he was only 6, he can't wait to come home. He will return to his hometown in February as the dean of UTEP's School of Nursing.



SAPD Mental Health Unit Marks Anniversary

KSAT 12 News

December 17, 2009


SAN ANTONIO -- A mother is in distress. Her adult son, who suffers from schizophrenia, is having a mental health crisis.  … Knowing that she can't handle her son, the mother calls 911 and tells a dispatcher that her son is homicidal and is going to kill someone. The San Antonio Police Department sends Officers William Kasberg and Ernest Stevens to the home. They are members of the department's Mental Health Unit, which this week marked its first year of helping residents involved in mental health situations.   …The man ended up getting emergency detention and treatment, which was a big relief for his mother.



Traumatic stress response team helps Fort Hood victims

United States Air Force

December 16, 2009


LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- An Air Force medical team trained in helping people recover from traumatic events returned from Fort Hood, Texas, after responding to the Nov. 5 shootings, which left 13 people dead and dozens injured. The Traumatic Stress Response team, led by Maj. Sheila Beville, a 59th Mental Health Squadron social worker from Wilford Hall Medical Center, deployed to Fort Hood, Nov. 8 through Dec. 2. The six-member team was called in to assist with counseling hundreds of Soldiers, first responders, hospital workers, civilians and family members who were directly affected by the impact of the shooting violence.



The cure for depression in the Panhandle?

KVII-TV (Amarillo, TX)

December 16, 2009


AMARILLO, TEXAS -- Millions of Americans suffer from depression, and around 30% do not respond to any treatment. However, a Panhandle doctor may hold a cure. Sherry Kasko has suffered from depression for about 20 years. she tried numerous prescription drugs, yet nothing worked. Finally her doctors Michael Jenkins and James Rush received the Panhandles first, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS therapy machine.



Waco U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards secures $8.6 million for local projects in defense bill


December 17, 2009


U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, secured $8.6 million for local projects ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder research to a testing lab for spy plane technologies in the $636 billion defense bill that was passed in the House on Wednesday.





Congress Agrees on FY 2010 Spending Bills for Mental Illness Research & Services

National Alliance on Mental Illness

December 14, 2009


The Senate yesterday cleared President Obama’s signature spending legislation (HR 3288) for FY 2010 for a broad array of domestic discretionary spending, including funding for mental illness research, mental health services, housing and veterans programs.  These bills cover funding for the current fiscal year which began on October 1, 2009.



Sebelius pushes for health bill

Baltimore Sun

December 17, 2009


Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told a crowd of health care providers and others Wednesday at Baltimore's Sheppard Pratt Health Systems that health care reform would save money and improve care for millions of Americans who do not get all the mental health services they need.,0,6474503.story



Over 45 Million Americans Now Lack Health Insurance: About 8 percent of children are uninsured, government report finds
HealthDay News

Dec. 16, 2009


In the first six months of this year, 45.4 million Americans of all ages -- or 15.1 percent of the population -- had no health insurance, according to new National Health Interview Survey statistics released Wednesday. In addition, 58.4 million (19.4 percent) people of all ages had been uninsured for at least part of the year prior to the interview, and 31.9 million (10.6 percent) had been uninsured for more than a year at the time of interview, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.



NAMI Applauds New Report on Caregiving: New report offers a revealing portrait of the nearly one-in-three American adults who serve as a family caregiver


December 17, 2009


Arlington, VA  -- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) praises a new report, Caregiving in the U.S. 2009, which offers a revealing portrait of the nearly one-in-three American adults who serve as a family caregiver.



Nursing home inspections stun state officials; Department of Human Services Assistant Secretary Grace Hou: 'Very eye-opening

Chicago Tribune

December 17, 2009


Top state officials who recently visited Illinois nursing homes said Wednesday they were stunned and disappointed by conditions at some facilities, describing grim institutions crowded with surprising numbers of mentally ill residents who wandered aimlessly without proper treatment.,0,5639544.story



NY prison system opens unit for mentally ill

Adirondack Daily Enterprise

December 15, 2009


ALBANY - The first inmates moved Tuesday into a new state prison unit for disruptive mentally ill prisoners that was created in response to a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group in 2002. The 100-bed Residential Mental Health Unit at Marcy Correctional Facility in Oneida County was designed by the state corrections and mental health agencies under the terms of a 2007 settlement with Disability Advocates.



ACLU says youth tortured at state prison

Helena Independent Record

December 17, 2009


A 17-year-old boy suffering from mental illnesses was so traumatized by his deplorable treatment in the Montana State Prison that he twice attempted to kill himself by biting through the skin on his wrist to puncture a vein, a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana alleges. … He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder, among other illnesses, according to the lawsuit.

His available mental health treatment consists of a prison staff member knocking on his door once a week and asking if he has any concerns, according to documents, and then he must answer by yelling within earshot of other inmates.



Iowa governor signs efficiency plan cutting $128M

Waco Tribune-Herald

December 16, 2009


DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Gov. Chet Culver signed an executive order Wednesday expected to save the state nearly $128 million through government efficiency efforts and called for lawmakers to approve early retirement incentives for state workers in order to save millions more. Culver also said it's likely the Legislature will close one of the state's four mental health institutions in another cost-cutting move.





Health Reform: Time for a Paradigm Shift

Grantmakers In Health

December 17, 2009


There is no question that health reform is crucial. To attain true health reform, however, we need to focus on keeping Americans healthier in the first place and not just treating them after they become sick.



The Consequences of "No"

New England Journal of Medicine

December 17, 2009


In the next few weeks, Congress will determine the fate of healthcare reform. An early and important objective of the Obama administration,reform once carried an air of inevitability. But a spiritedanti-reform effort and concerns about the legislation's costhave raised doubts about its prospects.



Health-care bill wouldn't bring real reform

Washington Post

December 17, 2009


I have worked for health-care reform all my political life. In my home state of Vermont, we have accomplished universal health care for children younger than 18 and real insurance reform -- which not only bans discrimination against preexisting conditions but also prevents insurers from charging outrageous sums for policies as a way of keeping out high-risk people. I know health reform when I see it, and there isn't much left in the Senate bill. I reluctantly conclude that, as it stands, this bill would do more harm than good to the future of America.





Premature Birth Tied to Later Behavioral Problems

ABC News

December 16, 2009


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children who were born prematurely and at a very low weight may have an increased risk of certain behavior problems and symptoms of depression and anxiety, research suggests.



Antipsychotic Prescribing in Children: What We Know—What We Need to Know

Psychiatric Times

December 16, 2009


… The prospect of large numbers of youth receiving potentially weight-inducing antipsychotic medications for clinical diagnoses that have only scant empirical support of clinical efficacy understandably raises critical concern. How often do the known cardiometabolic risks outweigh uncertain clinical benefits?



Brain Imaging Shows Kids' PTSD Symptoms Linked to Poor Hippocampus Function


December 17, 2009


Psychological trauma leaves a trail of damage in a child's brain, say scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Their new study gives the first direct evidence that children with symptoms of post-traumatic stress suffer poor function of the hippocampus, a brain structure that stores and retrieves memories. The research helps explain why traumatized children behave as they do and could improve treatments for these kids.



Bipolar disorder susceptibility gene affects cortical function in healthy children

MedWire News (Behav Genet)

December 17, 2009


Variations in a candidate gene for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia affect cortical functioning linked to perception and monitoring in healthy children as young as 10–12 years of age, UK researchers have discovered.



New Study of Childhood Depression

Psych Central

December 17, 2009


A new research study may inform experts on improved methods to combat childhood depression.  Binghamton University psychologist Brandon Gibb and colleagues hope to identify the causes of mental health problems in kids and determine risk factors for depression.



New Study Links DHA Type of Omega-3 to Better Nervous-System Function


December 16, 2009


The omega-3 essential fatty acids commonly found in fatty fish and algae help animals avoid sensory overload, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. The finding connects low omega-3s to the information-processing problems found in people with schizophrenia; bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders; Huntington's disease; and other afflictions of the nervous system.



SARS survivors continue to suffer mental health problems, study finds

Los Angeles Times

December 16, 2009


…After one year, patients’ physical symptoms had improved greatly, but their mental health had deteriorated. A group of researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong checked back with all the SARS survivors they could find in one district of the city and found that psychiatric problems persisted even four years later.




Reactions to specific fearful facial components altered in schizophrenia

MedWire News (NeuroImage)

December 17, 2009


Schizophrenia patients have altered neural responses to the eyes and brows of fearful faces compared with healthy individuals on principal component analysis (PCA), study results indicate.





HHS Announces $27 Million from Recovery Act to Help Older Americans Fight Chronic Disease

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

December 16, 2009


HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced the availability of $27 million to help older individuals with chronic conditions to improve their health and reduce their use of costly medical care. … This competitive initiative gives every state Aging and Health Department and U.S. territory the opportunity to implement rigorously tested Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs (CDSMP), one of the most prominent being the Stanford University model.  The CDSMP is a six-week peer-led training program that covers topics such as healthy eating, exercise, managing fatigue and depression, and communicating effectively with health care professionals.





With demand up, charities face tough holidays

Houston Chronicle

December 16, 2009


For many of America's social service charities, this holiday season is providing a daunting mix of heavier demand for services, reduced funding and an ever-widening range of clients seeking help as economic woes persist.


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