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Hogg Foundation News Clips
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

April, 2010

Today’s Clips – April 12, 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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Stimulus helps community health center; $1 million helps Matagorda County safety net provider expand medical services

Houston Chronicle

April 11, 2010


… Community health centers fill the health-care gap between the indigent and those who have medical insurance, a population that represents the majority of Matagorda residents, Harrison said. Nationwide, these “safety net providers” care for more than 17 million of the nation's poor and medically underserved. More than 800,000 of those patients are Texans. According to a study published in the February issue of the health policy journal Health Affairs, increased funding to community health centers has greatly expanded care to the uninsured.



Program for mentally ill offenders offers compassion in court

Dallas Morning News

April 11, 2010


…But this day, Skemp gives the man yet another chance. Nonviolent mentally ill defendants can now seek treatment to regain competency – the ability to help their attorneys with their defense – on an outpatient basis instead of waiting four to six months in the Dallas County Jail for a bed at a state hospital where they are stabilized enough to assist in their cases. Skemp decides this man, who is not being identified to protect his privacy because of his mental health issues, can remain free.



UTMB back in the black
Galveston County Daily News
April 8, 2010


The University of Texas Medical Branch is in the black. Those words haven’t been uttered in years to describe the organization, which operates John Sealy Hospital, where struggles to serve the state’s un- and underinsured helped put its books perennially in the red. A boost in general revenue from the state, a smaller post-Hurricane Ike payroll, tighter cost controls and more paying patients this year have allowed the county’s largest employer to sustain a positive margin of income over expenses.



Taxpayers get tab for OT at Sheriff’s Office; Some workers see paychecks soar as they make up for staff shortage

Houston Chronicle

April 11, 2010


John Linton starts to really make a living when his shift as a Harris County deputy sheriff ends. That is when he switches over to time-and-a-half working in the mental health unit at the County Jail. … Linton's income, of course, is covered by taxpayers. So are the incomes of the 65 other deputies, sergeants, detention officers, nurses and mental health assistants who made more in overtime than in base salary last year, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of salary records.



Retired judge admonished for ordering adults into locked cells; Ex-judge says she would do it differently today

Austin American-Statesman

April 9, 2010


… The recommendation that the girl stay in detention was based largely on the girl's mother, who was afraid of more outbursts and wanted psychiatrists to evaluate her daughter's medication, according to the commission. The commission reported that as the caseworkers explained their concerns, Meurer became visibly angry and said they were recommending detention for their own convenience.



An insurance alternative to believe in: Christians rely on each other to pay medical bills

Houston Chronicle

April 9, 2010


… For 14 years Peggy and her husband, James, missionaries who live in Conroe, have been members of a “health care sharing ministry,” an unorthodox arrangement to help Christians pay their medical bills and avoid dealing with insurance companies. Here's how it works at Christian Healthcare: Members send in a monthly fee, resembling an insurance premium, which can range from about $50 for a single person to $450 for a family of four. That money, along with the payments from thousands of other members, is then distributed to pay sick members' medical bills.



Police: 8-year-old brought gun to Marble Falls campus

Austin American-Statesman

April 9, 2010


Marble Falls Police Department officials say they have referred a Colt Elementary School student who brought a gun to campus today to Child Protective Services and mental health professionals.





Disabled vets' caretakers face their own battles; Some find they must quit their jobs or even relocate

Houston Chronicle

April 12, 2010


… Legislation awaiting final approval from Congress would provide health care, mental health services, training, and stipends to relatives who have become full-time caretakers to veterans like Rob. Little research has been done to quantify the impact of combat injuries on military families. In a random sample of 1,730 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, 21 percent of active-duty personnel reported that a family member or friend had been forced to leave a job to provide full-time care, according to the 2007 findings of the President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors.



Revolving door of multiple tours linked to PTSD

Austin American-Statesman

April 10, 2010


(AP) … Nearly 300,000 troops have served three, four or more times. And, records show, more than half of those currently at war are at least on their second tour. ... Multiple tours, according to several studies, have been linked to stress, anxiety and PTSD, which is often marked by nightmares, flashbacks, angry outbursts, insomnia and social withdrawal.



Gulf War Syndrome real, Institute of Medicine concludes; Genetic vulnerability may explain why only some troops have been affected

Science News

April 10, 2010


Hundreds of thousands of U.S. veterans who claim to suffer from Gulf War Syndrome just received powerful new ammunition against arguments that their symptoms are trivial, if not altogether fictional. On April 9, the Institute of Medicine – the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences – issued a report that concludes military service in the Persian Gulf War has not only been a cause of post-traumatic stress disorder in some veterans but also is “associated with multisymptom illness.”,_Institute_of_Medicine_concludes



Russia angry over boy sent back from U.S.; Nation threatens to halt adoptions by American families

Houston Chronicle

April 10, 2010


MOSCOW — Russia threatened to suspend all child adoptions by U.S. families Friday after a 7-year-old boy adopted by a woman from Tennessee was sent alone on a one-way flight back to Moscow with a note saying he was violent and had severe psychological problems. The boy, Artyom Savelyev, was put on a plane by his adopted grandmother, Nancy Hansen of Shelbyville, Tenn.



Medicare Issues Intermediate Sanction Notice To Aetna Insurance Company Medicare Health And Drug Plans

Medical News Today

April 12, 2010


On April 5, 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice to Aetna Insurance Company of its intent to impose an intermediate sanction to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries continue to have access to prescription drugs under Medicare's requirements.



Proposal to reduce Portland police encounters with mentally ill draws mixed reviews

The Oregonian

April 8, 2010


A proposal by two Portland commissioners and the police chief to improve police encounters with the mentally ill faced mixed reviews Thursday. Some mental health advocates said the proposal doesn't go far enough, and the police union president questioned its effectiveness.



Missouri closing several mental health facilities

April 9, 2010


Several state-run mental health centers will be closed and about 300 jobs cut as Missouri implements "a major shift in inpatient psychiatric" care that will eventually save the state more than $7 million each year, the state mental health director said.



Suicide prompts call for youth mental-health aid

Boston Herald

April 11, 2010


Manuel DaVeiga’s violent death has exposed a chasm that experts fear may swallow similar at-risk youths who, like DaVeiga, need mental-health treatment but lack the maturity to get it themselves and the support at home or in the community to get help. DaVeiga, who was shuffled from mental institution to jail to residential program 11 times after turning 12, shot himself to death during a gun battle he started with police April 3, authorities said



Man acquitted in DC psychiatric patient's death

Austin American-Statesman

April 9, 2010


WASHINGTON (AP) — A former mental health counselor at a Washington psychiatric hospital has been acquitted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of an unruly patient who was forcibly restrained.





For mentally ill survivors, Holocaust lives on

Associated Press

April 11, 2010


At the Shaar Menashe Mental Health Center in northern Israel, it's as though the Holocaust never ended. As Israel on Sunday night begins its annual 24 hours of remembrance of the Nazi genocide, the focus is on the 6 million Jews murdered and on the survivors who built new lives in the Jewish state. Much less is ever said about the survivors for whom mental illness is part of the Holocaust's legacy.



Breaking the silence on suicide

BBC News

April 12, 2010


Brendan J Byrne, the producer and director of Breaking the Silence, says the stigma of suicide must be smashed.





Global Health Day Should Include Mental Health

Huffington Post

April 9, 2010


Mental illness is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Neuropsychiatric conditions (such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) account for about 15 percent of the global burden of disease. But the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that 40.5 percent of countries have no mental health policy.



Silent No More: Mental Health Month

National Alliance on Mental Illness

April 9, 2010


A few weeks ago, I had lunch with a colleague who I had not seen for five years. We had a lot of catching up to do as we shared our ministries. He was surprised to learn that I was no longer serving a church, but that I had started a ministry to create resources to help reduce the stigma of mental illness in our faith communities. … May is Mental Health Month and has provided an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health issues for more than 50 years.



Harvard Oppresses the Mentally Ill

Harvard Crimson

April 12, 2010


Like many other exalted institutions, Harvard only offers the illusion of financial security. In fact, Harvard is discriminating against the most vulnerable members of its community: The mentally ill. While Harvard has an unprecedented financial aid program that has allowed many students to flourish, Harvard oppresses the mentally ill who are characterized by a lower socioeconomic status.



Sanity on retiree health cost: The mayor has acted wisely in putting brakes on a potential runaway expense

Houston Chronicle

April 11, 2010


Mayor Annise Parker's decision to increase the cost of the early retirees' health insurance was a necessary measure and one that City Council and citizens should support.



A silent danger we can't ignore: Suicide

Fort Worth Star Telegram

April 10, 2010


…Suicide, usually considered a private matter and left unreported in news media like other mental illnesses, has become the daily symptom of an economy in tailspin and lives in turmoil.





Imaging Studies Help Pinpoint Child Bipolar Circuitry; In-Scanner Tasks Reveal Divergences with Overlapping Disorders

National Institute of Mental Health

April 8, 2010


A series of imaging studies are revealing that the brain works differently in youth with bipolar disorder (BD) than in chronically irritable children who are often diagnosed with pediatric BD.



Motivational Incentives Help Kids With ADHD: Combining behavioral approach with medication boosts performance, study finds

HealthDay News (Biol Psych)

 April 9, 2010


 Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder who are on medication react more like other children when faced with a task that tests their attention and focusing skills, researchers have found. The findings, published in the April 1 issue of Biological Psychiatry, suggest that the medication does what it's supposed to do: help children pay attention and control their impulses. But motivational incentives seemed to help, too.



Researchers Refine DNA Testing For Predisposition To Bipolar Disorder

Medical News Today (J Med Gen)

April 11, 2010

Genetic testing may rise to a new level with the findings of Indiana University School of Medicine researchers whose "prototype" for laboratory testing for bipolar disorder appears today in the online edition of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics.



Link between Stress, Anxiety, Depression

Psych Central News
April 12, 2010


Researchers have discovered a biological link between stress, anxiety and depression. Lead researcher Stephen Ferguson believes that the connecting mechanism in the brain explains how stress and anxiety could lead to depression. The study also reveals a small molecule inhibitor, developed by Ferguson, which may provide a new and better way to treat anxiety, depression and other related disorders.



New study finds strong link between mental health and addiction

CTV News (Canada)

April 9, 2010


A new study by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse reports there is a strong connection between addiction and mental illness. It is called concurrent disorders; the medical term for when a person suffers from mental illness and substance abuse at the same time.



Simple Test Identifies Suicide Risk from Antidepressants

Psych Central News
April 12, 2010

UCLA researchers have developed a noninvasive brain scan to determine if an individual may be susceptible to suicidal thoughts while taking an antidepressant medication.



Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning In Again

New York Times
April 11, 2010


Scientists are taking a new look at hallucinogens, which became taboo among regulators after enthusiasts like Timothy Leary promoted them in the 1960s with the slogan “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” Now, using rigorous protocols and safeguards, scientists have won permission to study once again the drugs’ potential for treating mental problems and illuminating the nature of consciousness.





Sharing Hope: Community Partnership through Education, An informational Webinar

National Alliance on Mental Illness

April 9, 2010


We are pleased to announce a special Webinar, Sharing Hope: Community Partnership through Education, focusing on NAMI's Sharing Hope: Understanding Mental Health initiative. You will not want to miss hearing about this exciting program which targets African American congregations to start a dialogue on mental health and build

partnerships with NAMI. April 14, 2010 3:00 - 4:30 pm EDT.



NAMI FaithNet Newsletter: April 2010

National Alliance on Mental Illness

April 9, 2010


Welcome to the April issue of the NAMI FaithNet Newsletter. In this issue:

  • Connecting Mind, Body and Spirit
  • Sharing Hope: Community Partnership through Education Webinar
  • NAMI's Story Is Coming to PBS Stations in May
  • NAMI National Convention: June 30-July 3


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