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Hogg Foundation for Mental Health News and Grants
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

November, 2010

Today's Clips - November 17, 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. Media sites may require a one-time free registration and academic and science journal sites may require a paid subscription to access articles.


Subscribe to more Hogg Foundation news and updates -- click on the link at the bottom of the page to manage your subscription.




Texas schools no longer shielded from state budget cuts; School districts told to expect $3 billion to $5 billion less

Austin American-Statesman

November 16, 2010


The protective bubble that shielded public schools from the full force of Texas' budget crisis has evaporated. School districts are being told they should expect to get an estimated $3 billion to $5 billion less in the next two-year budget as lawmakers begin wrestling with a $24 billion revenue shortfall in January.



Austin Democrat says GOP leaders use 'trickery' to patch over budget woes

Dallas Morning News

November 15, 2010


AUSTIN - Texas' leaders must quit writing budgets in "back rooms" and stop hiding the state's fiscal troubles, a leading Democratic lawmaker said today. Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said the state's GOP leadership has used "accounting trickery" and dispensed tax cuts without equivalent reductions in spending.



Lecturer orates on mental health trends in Victoria, US

Victoria Advocate

November 16, 2010


"Mental illness can happen to anyone," said New York Times best-selling author Pete Earley offstage, as people filed into the Victoria College auditorium Tuesday night for his lecture on the criminalization of the mentally ill.



Frisco police introduce 'Take Me Home' program

Star Community Newspapers

November 16, 2010


The Frisco Police Department recently initiated a new program called "Take Me Home," which is aimed at assisting individuals who cannot identify himself/herself or where they live. Unfortunately, police officers routinely encounter mental health consumers who are unable to communicate with officers about who they are, where they live or who can help care for them. This new program is designed specifically to quickly find answers for both the officer and person in need.



Death row convict's lawyers argue he's incompetent

San Antonio Express-News

November 17, 2010


A man convicted of participating in a fatal robbery in Kerrville is arguing he is mentally incompetent to be put to death. At a hearing that began Tuesday, lawyers for Jeffrey Lee Wood, 36, tried to convince U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia that Wood is too delusional to understand why he is to die.





Guard to bring on 97 mental health workers

Air Force Times

November 16, 2010


The Air National Guard plans to hire 97 psychological health directors nationwide, marking the first time the service component has had its own mental wellness professionals.



Report: Medical care contributes to harm and death of Medicare patients, costs taxpayers more

Dallas Morning News

November 16, 2010


Hospital studyA new federal report found that 1 in 7 Medicare patients experienced harmful medical care during hospitalization, extending their stays in many cases, contributing to the deaths of some and costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.





State lawmakers say healthcare reform law preserves states' rights

The Hill

November 15, 2010


Seventy-one state lawmakers from 26 states have asked to be allowed to file a brief opposing the main legal challenge to the healthcare reform law. The bipartisan group of legislators says it is best suited to push back against claims that the new law - particularly its expansion of Medicaid - infringes on states' rights. That's one of the claims made in the largest healthcare reform lawsuit, which was filed March 23 in Florida and includes 20 states.



New Medicare/Medicaid Projects Aimed At Cheaper, Better Care

Kaiser Health News

Nov 16, 2010


Promising fast action, the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is launching a series of initiatives aimed at improving medical care while reducing its cost, officials said Tuesday.



Health industry studies options; N. Carolina eyed as Medicaid model

Baton Rouge Advocate

November 15, 2010


Physicians, hospitals and other health-care providers want the Jindal administration to drop its plan to let private insurance companies run part of the state's Medicaid program for the poor. Instead, the groups are working on an alternative provider-directed, patient-centered plan for Louisiana similar to one in North Carolina that has no insurance company involvement.



Beshear proposes using more private contractors to cut Medicaid costs

Lexington Herald-leader (Ky)

November 16, 2010


FRANKFORT - Gov. Steve Beshear announced Monday changes to save more than $142 million in the cash-strapped Medicaid program over the next two years. The changes include expanding the use of private contractors to run managed health care programs outside of Louisville and are expected to balance the state's Medicaid budget by 2012.



SC faces funding crisis in health care for poor

Post and Courier (SC)

November 15, 2010


COLUMBIA - If left unchecked, government-run health insurance for the poor in the state will start draining the cash South Carolina has to pay for its other top priorities, including public schools and law enforcement. The state's Medicaid program is projected to cost $228 million more than lawmakers budgeted to spend on it this fiscal year.



New Deficit Report Recommends Seniors Pay More For Medicare

Kaiser Health News

November 16, 2010


Offering the latest tough-love strategy to reduce the nation's debt, a panel of high-profile Republicans and Democrats is scheduled on Wednesday to recommend that Medicare beneficiaries pick up far more of their health care costs and the government substantially curb the amount both Medicare and Medicaid programs can grow in future years.



Medicare, Medicaid quality plan unveiled

Los Angeles Times

November 17, 2010


Reporting from Washington - The Obama administration on Tuesday announced new initiatives to boost the quality of medical care that Americans receive, laying the foundation for what many experts think could be one of the most far-reaching benefits of the new healthcare law. The 10-year, $10-billion effort - which proponents hope can reduce hospital-acquired infections, help ensure seniors take their medications, and more - has garnered far less attention than the politically charged debate about repealing the law.,0,5175889.story



Friends Of Health Overhaul Defend It In Federal Court Case

National Public Radio

November 16, 2010


In case you missed it, Friday was the last day for people with something to say about the new federal health law to file briefs in the huge multistate lawsuit in Florida challenging its constitutionality. Since so many winning Republicans ran on, among other things, opposition to the law, it's not a huge shock that many of those so-called amicus filings came from prominent GOPers seeking to add their two cents to the charge that the law exceeded Congress' authority.





Disease model of depression can limit treatment

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

November 16, 2010


...The initiative provides a simple framework - we may all be afflicted by this diagnosable medical condition and there should be no shame attached to seeking treatment. But has making depression part of common parlance elevated it in seriousness to the point where normal sadness in response to events in one's life is characterised as depression, for which treatment is then sought, usually in the form of a pill?



29,000 Ontario students report problem gambling - drug use and suicide a concern

New curriculum to address gambling issues released for National Addictions Awareness Week

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

November 16, 2010


Toronto - A new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has found that 29,000 Ontario students from grades 7-12 report behaviours indicating that they are gambling problematically.   ...Also of great concern were the mental health indicators in these students. In addition to high rates of depressive symptoms and low self-esteem, the problem gambling students were about 18 times more likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year than other students.





Dissection of state's budget crisis has begun

Austin American-Statesman

November 16, 2010


... Later this month, state leaders will ask state agencies to find up to 3 percent in immediate budget cuts. That's on top of up to 5 percent in cuts ordered earlier this year. Texas lawmakers pride themselves on always writing tight budgets. Nobody ever has credibly accused the Texas Legislature of being a bunch of wild spenders. So, the question that ignites the word game is this: Are we getting near cutting into bone?



Rodney Ellis: Public defenders for Texans of the Year

Dallas Morning News

November 16, 2010


... Defendants represented by the Mental Health Public Defender in Dallas, Tarrant and Travis counties have had lower recidivism rates than defendants represented by private appointed lawyers because they received mental health services quicker and received probation rather than being sentenced to jail or prison.



Time for Congress to fix formula for Medicare pay

Houston Chronicle

November 16, 2010


... You can love health reform (as it now exists) or hate it, but either way, it's clear that big changes are coming in how we finance health care in America. To me, it seems most ethical to encourage physicians to get on board with whatever we decide is truly in the public interest. Telling physicians they don't count is hardly the right way to get going.



Bullying: What we should consider

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

November 17, 2010


Bully is defined as a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates those who are smaller or weaker or somehow different. Much has been written regarding the subject of bullying.





ADHD gene may be the link to daydreaming

Los Angeles Times

November 16, 2010


Attention deficit-hyperactive disorder includes difficulty with mental focus. People describe it as daydreaming or mind-wandering instead of concentrating on the task at hand. Now researchers think they have identified a gene that is responsible for this specific characteristic of the disorder.,0,6020143.story



Remitted bipolar I and II disorder patients show significant functional impairments

Med Wire News

November 17, 2010


Patients with bipolar I (BDI) and II (BDII) disorder who are in remission show significant and similar levels of functional impairment, researchers have found.



Borderline personality disorder prevalent in schizophrenia

Med Wire News

November 17, 2010


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is common in patients with schizophrenia and has a negative effect on disease course and outcomes, study results show.



Depression Linked to HIV Risk Among South African Young People, Study Shows

Science Daily News

November 16, 2010


University of Alberta research has discovered a strong link between depression and risky sexual behaviours such as improper condom use, transactional sex and relationship violence among young people in South Africa.



First-Line Use Of Abilify Has More Than Doubled Over The Past Year For The Treatment Of Newly-Diagnosed Patients In Bipolar Disorder

Medical News Today

November 17, 2010


Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that first-line use of Bristol Myers-Squibb/Otsuka's Abilify has increased over the past year in newly-diagnosed patients from 4.1 percent patient share to 8.8 percent. According to Treatment Algorithms in Bipolar Disorder, uptake of Abilify in the first-line will continue among surveyed primary care physicians (PCPs): 26 percent of surveyed PCPs who prescribe Abilify indicate they expect to increase their first-line use of this agent over the next two years.



Animal Studies Suggest New Paths To Treating Depression


November 16, 2010


New animal research has identified factors, such as the stress response and immune system, that may play important roles in depression. Scientists have also found that the regulation of nerve cell signals influences depression in animals, and that new drug combinations may more effectively treat it.





Ten Tips for a Stress-Less Holiday Season from University Behavioral Health of Denton


November 17, 2010


'Tis the season to be stressful. Planning ahead, setting expectations, and seeking support can reduce the levels of stress and depression during the holidays, according to University Behavioral Health of Denton.



Can mindfulness help manage pain and mental illness?


November 16, 2010


...Mindfulness is becoming more integrated into psychological therapy in the United States. Therapists have found uses for it for everything from post-traumatic stress disorder to eating disorders to anxiety. And its effectiveness for stress reduction and other benefits have been supported in scientific studies.


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