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Hogg Foundation News Clips
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

April, 2010

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. Stories from other media sources do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of the foundation and its staff.


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Scholarship available for graduate students of social work

The Graduate Guide

March 23, 2010


Many graduate students take out loans in order to help with student loan debt, but they should also consider looking into scholarship opportunities. For instance, Texas-based graduate students interested in studying social work may want to apply for the Ima Hogg Scholarship for Mental Health. Award winners will receive funding for the 2010–2011 school year.





Insurers' fine print leaves some out to dry; State considering ban on policies' discretionary clauses

Austin American-Statesman

March 30, 2010


… Discretionary clauses, which are the subject of a recent public debate between insurers and consumer advocates, give insurance companies the authority to interpret the terms of their policies. They also provide the legal cover to win most lawsuits in which policyholders sue over unpaid claims. In other words, the clauses effectively give companies the authority to decide who gets paid and who doesn't.



Travis County awaits funding for veterans' court


March 30, 2010


AUSTIN -- Travis County could soon join the list of Texas counties setting up special court systems for their war veterans.  … Rather than locking up a veteran, the courts seek to match them up with programs from the Veterans’ Administration and other social services.



Veterans court idea gets a look in Bexar County

Houston Chronicle

March 30, 2010


AUSTIN — A state lawmaker Tuesday urged those who have served in the military to weigh in on the fight over a special Bexar County veterans court docket in hopes of changing District Attorney Susan Reed's mind about how it should be implemented. … A new law allows certain veterans who get in trouble with the law to get treatment and other services under intensive supervision rather than going directly through the regular court system. Veterans are eligible if they have a brain injury, mental illness or mental disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder, that is linked to their service in combat or similar hazardous duty and affected the criminal conduct at issue in their case.



Dallas County judge creating court for troubled veterans

Dallas Morning News

March 30, 2010


AUSTIN – Soldiers who survive combat only to fall into addiction, depression, rage - and, sometimes, criminal behavior - will have their own court in Dallas County, starting next month.  … The program will include consultations with mental health case workers, counseling, and restitution. Defendants who complete the work could get their criminal record expunged.



Campaign launched to save RSH forensics unit

Cherokeean Herald

March 31, 2010


Rusk civic leaders are mounting a new campaign to save a forensics unit at Rusk State Hospital that is on the budget chopping block in Austin.  …A chronic problem at each of the state’s state mental hospitals is that the facilities are almost always 100 percent occupied with a waiting list. That list will get longer if 200 hospital beds are cut at four state hospitals. Similar cuts are being considered at three other state hospitals: Terrell, San Antonio and North Texas (Wichita Falls).



Protesters wage war on detention center from afar; They say conditions at 'tent city' deplorable

Austin American-Statesman

March 30, 2010


GEORGETOWN — About a dozen opponents of for-profit prisons protested Tuesday in Georgetown, calling for the closure of the nation's largest immigrant detention center about 300 miles to their south. … The protesters, members of Grassroots Leadership and WilCo Family Justice Alliance, point to reports of substandard living conditions, detainee abuse and the lack of adequate physical or mental health care as reasons the facility should shut down.



Harlingen has land for Valley medical school

San Antonio Express-News

March 31, 2010


HARLINGEN — This city's hopes of hosting a full-scale medical school in the Rio Grande Valley got a boost Tuesday when Mayor Chris Boswell announced a 35-acre land donation to site the facility.



Secretary Sebelius Awards Funding for Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs for Older Americans; Recovery Act Grants will help reduce chronic disease and health disparities

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

March 31, 2010


Older Americans with chronic diseases can learn how to manage their conditions and take control of their health using the $27 million in grants announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The Communities Putting Prevention to Work Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will allow 45 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to provide self-management programs to older adults with chronic diseases build statewide delivery systems and develop the workforce that delivers these programs. Texas: $1,000,000



First extra credit inmates to hit the streets

Houston Chronicle

March 30, 2010


On Monday, the Harris County Jail will release the first inmates to earn triple credit for time served because they went through job training. … Because 80 percent of Harris County inmates are repeat customers, Garcia wants more than good behavior to make someone eligible for 3-for-1. His spokesman said that some inmates may shorten their sentences by getting mental health services, earning a GED or participating in another program that prepares them for life after incarceration.



Man with gun captured referred to mental health professionals

Family Badge, The Police News

March 30, 2010


SANTA FE, TX - Sunday evening Santa Fe Police dispatch received several 911 calls regarding a man with a gun in the 1600 block of Ave Q in the city of Santa Fe. Santa Fe officers arrived in the area moments later and searched the area…Fischer said Nelson suffers from bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia and manic depression. She also told officers that Nelson has been off of his medications for some time and is an illegal narcotics abuser.





Health-Care Overhaul Clears Way for Community Clinics to Grow

Chronicle of Philanthropy

March 29, 2010


The enactment last week of health-care legislation provides nonprofit community health centers with the means to grow to meet rising demand for their services, according to The Big Money. Local clinics that treat all comers regardless of their ability to pay have been stretched in recent months as the recession has swelled the ranks of unemployed, uninsured patients. The new law provides $11-billion in expansion funds for the centers, which operate largely in low-income urban and rural areas and are likely to treat many of the millions of Americans who will gain health coverage.



Dr. Orr Begins Home Pilot as Health Law Brings Medicaid Surge

Bloomberg Business Week

March 31, 2010


… The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act put in motion the largest expansion of health care coverage since the creation in 1965 of Medicaid, for the poor, and Medicare, for people 65 and older and the disabled. Obama yesterday signed a companion measure to fully enact the law. The result will be more patients and less money for doctors already feeling shortchanged by Medicaid and Medicare, said Richard Chudacoff, who applied to the Paris-based humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders after Congress passed the bill.



Primary Care Crisis Has Been A Long Time Coming

Kaiser Health News

March 31, 2010


For decades, just about everybody who has looked at the supply of primary care doctors in this country has warned of trouble ahead. … Some evergreen recommendations call for paying primary care doctors more and, recently, using primary care offices as medical homes to coordinate all of a patient's care to manage costs and care.



Insurers to Comply With Rules on Children

New York Times

March 30, 2010


WASHINGTON — Under pressure from the White House, health insurance companies said Tuesday that they would comply with rules to be issued soon by the Obama administration requiring them to cover children with pre-existing medical problems.



Medicare Plans That Broke Rules Include Familiar Names

Kaiser Health News

March 31, 2010


A multinational company and two members of the Fortune 500 were named among six insurers found in violation of Medicare marketing rules when federal inspectors checked their books and sat in on presentations as “secret shoppers,” documents show. … Among the six were Aetna Inc., Universal American Corp., and Munich American Holding Corp., which sells Medicare products under the name of Sterling Insurance.



Recent teen suicides prompt new prevention ad campaign

USA Today

March 31, 2010


A public service ad campaign launching today is designed to help troubled teenagers before it's too late. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds, following accidents and homicides, according to government data.



9 charged with bullying Mass. teen who killed self

Houston Chronicle

March 29, 2010


NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — … Phoebe, ostracized for having a brief relationship with a popular boy, reached her breaking point and hanged herself after one particularly hellish day in January — a day that, according to officials, included being hounded with slurs and pelted with a beverage container as she walked home from school. … The Massachusetts Legislature cited Prince's death and the apparent suicide of 11-year-old Carl Walker-Hoover of Springfield last year when members passed anti-bullying legislation earlier this month.



Inmate suicide brings criticism about health services

Boston Globe

March 31, 2010


A prisoners advocacy group voiced concerns yesterday over reductions in mental health services after a second inmate in less than two weeks took his own life at a Massachusetts prison…The rate of inmate suicide in Massachusetts is more than three times higher than the national average, Walker said. There were three inmate suicides last year, and there have been four so far in 2010, she said.





Launch Of Children And Young People's Mental Health Coalition

Medical News Today

March 31, 2010


In response to concern about the high level of mental and emotional distress experienced by children and young people living in the UK, a coalition of charities will today - at the House of Lords - launch their plans to protect and improve the mental health of those up to the age of 25.



Mental health services under the knife in bid to save millions

New Zealand Herald

March 27, 2010


Mental health services face cutbacks and closures as district health boards look to rein in funding.



On the edge? Debate on mental health

Irish Times

March 31, 2010


Hospitals in Ireland spend too much time diagnosing mental illness and little time promoting positive mental health, Prof Ivor Browne told The Irish Times Pfizer Health Forum last night. Prof Browne, professor emeritus of psychiatry at University College Dublin, said the training of psychiatrists was one of the causes of this problem as they have little experience of psychotherapy.



Suicides, Some for Separatist Cause, Jolt India

New York Times

March 30, 2010


Suicide has become something of a phenomenon in India, especially in the south, which now has one of the highest suicide rates in the world — a fact that has both puzzled and alarmed public health experts. … While the overall number remains small, mental health experts say these deaths illustrate the increasing stress on young people in a nation where, elections notwithstanding, the masses often feel powerless.





Depression doesn't care who you are

Iowa City Press Citizen

March 30, 2010


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression is a mental illness that affects more than one in 20 Americans ages 12 and older. If you do the math, that's a lot of people. In 2008, the CDC found that only 29 percent of this population reported contacting a mental health professional. Why?





Rapid cycling in bipolar disorder linked to serious life disruption

MedWire News (J Affect Disord)

March 31, 2010


Patients with bipolar disorder who experience frequent mood episodes show a greater level of life disruption than their peers with less frequent episodes, results of a large community study show. The investigators also found that only about half of those with recent bipolar disorder report treatment for depression or mania/hypomania.



Schizophrenia linked to worse verbal memory than 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

MedWire News (Res Dev Disabil) 2

March 31, 2010


Young patients with schizophrenia show marked deficits in verbal memory compared with intellectually matched youths with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22qDS), research shows.



Estrogen Aids Women with Schizophrenia

Psych Central News
March 31, 2010


A new Australian study has found a synthetic estrogen used for treatment of osteoporosis helps postmenopausal women with schizophrenia. Researchers say the drug influences neurotransmitter and neuronal systems in the brain. In the study, the medication known as raloxifene helped a test group recover from psychotic and other symptoms better than a control group.



The Difference between Depression and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Psych Central News
March 31, 2010


A new study addresses premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe mood disorder which affects five to seven percent of all women of reproductive age in the United States. Unfortunately, the disorder is often misdiagnosed as major depression or other mood disorders.



Massage may help lift depression

Reuters Health

March 30, 2010


NEW YORK - Massage therapy may help relieve symptoms of depression, a new review of the medical literature hints. The authors of the review, however, acknowledge difficulties with research on the effects of massage, including the fact that it's impossible to "blind" study participants or care providers to whether a person is receiving massage or a comparison treatment.



Meta-cognitive Therapy (MCT) for Adult ADHD

Psych Central News
March 31, 2010


A new study suggests meta-cognitive therapy (MCT), a method of skills teaching that uses cognitive-behavioral principles, improves outcomes among adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).





Aetna 2010 Grant Programs

Aetna Foundation

March 2010


We focus our grant-making on issues that improve health and the health care system in the following three areas: Obesity, Racial and Ethnic Health Care Equity, and Integrated Health Care. Within the three program areas, we will award the following types of grants: Research, Projects and Policy.  We will consider proposals that are both national and regional in scope. Regional impact and relevance are focused on a region, state or community, including Texas (Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio). In 2010, applications will be accepted in quarterly cycles with submission closing dates of May 15, August 15 and November 15.



Homelessness Resource Center Announces New Special Issue on the Future of Homeless Services

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

March 30, 2010


SAMHSA’s Homelessness Resource Center is announcing the release of a special issue of the Open Health Services and Policy Journal on “The Future of Homeless Services.” Guest edited by the Homelessness Resource Center, the special issue describes the services and supports needed to help individuals and families exit homelessness and maintain housing.  …  SAMHSA’s housing and homelessness initiative is designed to end and prevent homelessness by increasing the availability of sustainable supportive housing and other services linked to permanent housing for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of being homeless due to mental and/or substance use disorders.


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