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

December, 2010

Today's Clips - December 3, 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.




Moore Fellowship:  Doctoral students invited to apply for $20,000 award

Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

December 3, 2010


The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health invites doctoral students at The University of Texas at Austin to apply for funds to support their dissertation research. The foundation awards a $20,000 fellowship annually to one or more doctoral students completing a dissertation on the human experience in crises caused by natural or other major disasters or, in a broader sense, stress and adversity. Applications are due by 1:00 p.m. central time on Wednesday, February 2, 2011.  View application instructions and additional information online.



University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy Helps Ensure Proper Use of Psychotropic Medications for Children in Foster Care

The University of Texas at Austin

December 2, 2010


The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services have released revised and updated parameters to ensure the proper use of psychiatric medications for children in foster care. The "December 2010 Psychotropic Medication Utilization Parameters for Foster Children" is a resource for physicians and clinicians who care for foster children diagnosed with mental health disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, disruptive behavioral disorders, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and others. Hogg Foundation Executive Director Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., served on the project's ad hoc working group.


Link to report:





Nominations for Appointees to the Local Authority Network Advisory Committee:  Application Deadline Extended to December 31, 2010

Texas Department of State Health Services

December 3, 2010


The Department of State Health Services is soliciting nominations for the Local Authority Network Advisory Committee (LANAC) established pursuant to H.B. 2439 from the 80th Legislature, Regular Session, 2007. The Health and Human Services Commission makes the final decisions on all appointments. The LANAC advises HHSC and the Department of State Health Services on technical and administrative issues that directly affect local mental health authority responsibilities. Currently, there are nine openings on the committee. The application deadline has been extended to December 31, 2010.



Travis health district to weigh creating HMO; Officials pose many questions about establishing plan for Medicaid patients

Austin American-Statesman

December 2, 2010


Central Health officials are considering investing an estimated $10 million to seed a regional health maintenance organization to cover needy residents in Travis and surrounding counties.



Austin school district, Texas Youth Commission spar over paroled student

Austin American-Statesman

December 2, 2010


Spurred by threats of an Austin lawsuit, the Texas Youth Commission has asked the attorney general to determine how much information must be disclosed when paroled offenders arrive at a new school.



Blue Cross Blue Shield, Texas Health Resources dispute may raise costs for Texas patients

Dallas Morning News

December 3, 2010


... The power struggle between insurers and hospitals has intensified in recent years as hospital consolidations created mega-health systems. These companies, emboldened with leverage, began going head-to-head with insurance companies for better rates.



UTPA to graduate first group of Master's in Social Work students in Laredo

The University of Texas-Pan American

November 30, 2010


About two years ago The University of Texas-Pan American stepped in to meet a need the Laredo community had: more social workers. Later this month Laredo will have that need met when UTPA is expected to graduate its first crop of five Master of Social Work students.



Brownsville school fights back against cyber bullying


December 2, 2010


With a sense of humor and some dancing, renowned expert Barbara Jane Paris filled the gymnasium at Saint Joseph's Academy in Brownsville Thursday afternoon. Paris spoke with the students and faculty about the signs of "Cyber Bullying" and how students need to speak up about the issue. According to a recent report more than 20% of high school students nationwide say they have been a victim of "Cyber Bullying".



Indictment: Nonprofit's ex-leader Aponte stole more than $1 million; Theft estimate is more than double previously thought in Family Connections case

Austin American-Statesman

December 2, 2010


Louanne Aponte siphoned more than $1 million from Family Connections Inc., the nonprofit she led for more than a decade, according to indictments returned Thursday afternoon - more than double what had previously been reported in court documents.



Police identify Highway 30 overpass jumper

Huntsville Item

December 2, 2010


Huntsville police have identified a man who dropped from the Highway 30 overpass onto the northbound lanes of I-45 Wednesday and now say they believe his death was a suicide. Dianqin Jiang, 21, a recent immigrant from China, is believed to have jumped from the overpass and into traffic, where he was struck by an 18-wheeler and killed. ... Chan said there was no indication that Jiang was in distress until the past several days, when he began to close himself off.



Former employee sues Daystar, claiming founder's affair contradicted Christian TV network's values

Dallas Morning News

December 3, 2010


... By the end of May 2008, Hawkins had left the company. The suit says her Daystar disillusionment caused her "severe emotional trauma," to the point that she became suicidal and had to go to a mental institution.



Texas inmate hangs himself in his cell

Third inmate to commit suicide at the Bexar County Jail this year

San Antonio Express-News

December 2, 2010


SAN ANTONIO, Texas - A Bexar County Jail inmate hanged himself early Monday, becoming the third inmate to commit suicide this year.   ...Five inmates committed suicide in the jail last year. That total was more than three times the national average. As a result of the spike, Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz asked that a national suicide-prevention expert visit the jail and conduct a study to determine which, if any, policies or practices should be changed.





HHS announces the nation's new health promotion and disease prevention agenda

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

December 2, 2010


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today unveiled Healthy People 2020, the nation's new 10-year goals and objectives for health promotion and disease prevention, and "myHealthyPeople," a new challenge for technology application developers.



Social Security Re-Opens Comment Period on Changes to the Mental Impairment Listings

National Alliance on Mental Illness

December 2, 2010


Last week, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it is taking additional comments (through December 9, 2010) on its proposed rules revising the "Mental Impairment Listings" that are used to assess eligibility for disability benefits (both SSI and SSDI).  This shift was due to the large volume of comments the agency received from mental health advocates regarding the role of standardized tests that claims adjudicators can use to assess work-related impairments.  NAMI raised concerns about this issue in comments submitted to SSA last month



As National Debt Soars, Federal Government Takes Second Look at Charitable Deduction

Philanthropy News Digest

December 1, 2010


In an effort to get a grip on the soaring national debt, lawmakers are once again taking a close look at the charitable deduction, putting its future in doubt, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.;jsessionid=PFRPK50VLEPS5LAQBQ4CGW15AAAACI2F?id=315900006



New Web Resource Helps Medical Professionals Identify Drugs With Increased Suicide Risk

Science Daily News

December 3, 2010


The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists has launched a new online resource center to provide medical professionals with vital information on medications that are associated with an increased risk of suicide.



Suicides in National Parks Preventable, CDC Says

HealthDay News

December 2, 2010


Suicides in U.S. national parks are a serious but preventable health issue, researchers say. In a recent seven-year span, 84 national parks reported 194 suicides and 92 attempted suicides, an average of 41 events a year, according to the research. Firearms and falls, such as jumping from a cliff or bridge, were the most frequently used methods.



Wash. suspends grants to community health clinics

Seattle Times

December 2, 2010


OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - About $5.3 million in monthly grants to community health clinics around the state will be suspended through June. Three dozen organizations representing 214 clinics will see the grants suspended beginning Jan. 1. The state Health Care Authority says that could be changed under a supplemental budget approved by the Legislature.



Cuts hit mental health patients; Edinburgh Center cites years of losses

Boston Globe

December 2, 2010


A Waltham outpatient clinic that serves people struggling with severe mental illnesses is slashing its outpatient operations this month, leaving 350 patients to find new care providers and 11 clinicians to find new jobs even as other facilities face the same fate.



Homeless, Mentally Ill and, Soon, Short a Lifeline

The New York Times

December 2, 2010


... Each day, scenes like this play out across the city, disturbing even streetwise residents and alarming tourists. Those who are both homeless and severely mentally ill are the toughest, most intractable cases of homelessness that few have the experience or fortitude to tackle. Starting Jan. 1, even fewer will try. Caduceus Outreach Services, a nonprofit organization that has provided free psychiatric care to the city's mentally ill homeless population since 1996, is scheduled to cease operations at the end of this year.



For some patients, once is enough

Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune (Minn.)

December 2, 2010


It's a fact of life that doctors know well. A patient goes home from the hospital with a long list of instructions, and then skips his medicine. Or misses a follow-up appointment. And before you know it, he's right back in the hospital. Last February, Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina set out to try to reduce readmissions for Medicare patients as part of a pilot project with UCare, a small Minnesota health plan. The result: The 30-day readmission rate dropped by 44 percent.



Soldier accused in Afghan death at mental facility

San Antonio Express-News

December 2, 2010


DENVER (AP) - A Fort Carson soldier charged with fatally shooting a jailed Taliban member in Afghanistan was transferred to a mental health facility on Thursday, his father said.  ...The soldier was taking an antidepressant and another drug for sleeping problems at the time, and sometime after the shooting, Army doctors placed him on another drug for schizophrenia, his attorney, James Culp, said.



Mom asks Calif jury to free her from medical watch

Austin American-Statesman

December 3, 2010


SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A former hairdresser who claims postpartum psychosis caused her to run over her baby son in 1987 described on Thursday her descent into insanity to a jury that has the power to release her from court-ordered mental supervision. ... Massip cannot leave the state or move without court permission and has a home visit every three months - conditions she now feels are oppressive, her attorney Milton Grimes said outside court.





Deficit plan takes a tough line on health costs

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

December 2, 2010


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The healthcare cuts proposed by leaders of President Barack Obama's deficit commission would reach virtually every corner of society, making cost curbs in the new overhaul law look tame by comparison. The plan tackles the unfinished business of Obama's healthcare remake: how to keep it affordable.



National Council Fact Sheet Examines Impact of Medicaid Expansion on People with Disabilities

National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

November 2010


The National Council has released a new fact sheet, "Medicaid Benchmark Benefits in Health Reform: Improvements and Exemptions," which describes the differences between benchmark and standard coverage, the improvements to benchmark coverage under health reform, and the implications of these changes for individuals with disabilities. States will need to develop processes to identify which individuals meet the criteria of having a disabling mental disorder or functional impairment.



Some states fail to review unreasonable insurance rates, Kaiser finds

The Hill

December 2, 2010


Vigilance of unreasonable premium hikes might be lax in some states despite their robust authority to review and approve rates, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation study. ... The healthcare reform law gives the federal government new power to examine "unreasonable increases" in premiums charged for some individual and small group health plans.



Californians' costs for employer-based health insurance soar

Los Angeles Times

December 3, 2010


Working Californians have seen the cost of their employer-based health insurance shoot up about 40% over the last six years, but they may be surprised to find that workers in many other states fared even worse. The average cost for an employer to provide its workers with family coverage reached $12,631 in the Golden State last year. That put California below the national average of $13,027, according to a new study that found higher prices in Florida, Connecticut, Illinois and more than two dozen other states.,0,7997564.story





Suicide prevention charities reaching out online

The Washington Post

December 2, 2010


LONDON -- Suicide prevention groups are increasingly focusing their attentions online, partly to fight back against Internet websites they say can facilitate suicide. In an article published Friday in the medical journal Lancet, senior editor Niall Boyce examines strategies by charities to strengthen their anti-suicide messages on the web, fearing it may be acting as a vehicle through which suicide pacts are being formed.





Another death, another reason to remove stigma of mental-health care

The Washington Post

December 2, 2010


... There are likely just two explanations for what could have led to such a despicable act. Grandma was either pure evil, or she had some mental health issues. If unfiltered evil drove this, my guess is that it would've manifested itself at some point in her 50 years on this earth long before an evening at the shopping mall. Neighbors said Dela Rosa seemed like a "loving, doting" grandmother and a vital community member. It's more likely that there was a mental illness eating away at her that was not being properly treated.



Defeating diabetes: If nothing changes, the disease could get the better of Texans. But if we change ...

Houston Chronicle

December 2, 2010


... The impact on the state's health care system will be nothing short of budget busting. Unless something changes. Break out all the cliches: This is "a wake-up call and a call to action" that cannot be ignored, says state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, chair of the Texas Senate's Health and Human Services Committee. We doubt that anyone would disagree. Unless something changes.



What Does the Election of New Governors Mean for Mental Health Advocates?

National Alliance on Mental Illness

December 2, 2010


They may have been elected in different states this November, but America's 27 new governors-17 Republicans, nine Democrats and one Independent-will take office in January in the same daunting political environment. Most will appoint new directors for Medicaid, state mental health authorities and insurance commissions who will be in a position to dramatically influence our nation's mental health care system, a system that the NAMI Grading the States 2009 report gave a "D" grade.





Medical Care for People with Mental Illness Lags

Psych Central News

December 2, 2010


A new UK study suggests people with mental illness receive lower levels of preventive medical screening as compared with the general population.



PTSD Treatment Research Begins to Target Memory Reconsolidation

Internal Medicine News

December 1, 2010


MONTREAL - The field of psychiatry is facing a paradigm shift with new research suggesting that medications and psychotherapy may be able to permanently erase the "trauma" from traumatic memories, according to several experts. The experimental treatment, known as reconsolidation blockade, has been shown to interrupt the neurobiologic process of memory formation.



Suicide Issues: Hidden Epidemic Among Women With Military Service; Other Research

Science Daily News

December 2, 2010


New research suggests a hidden epidemic of suicide among younger women with military service. Researchers found a markedly elevated risk for young women veterans, with elevated risks for middle-aged and older women with current or past military service.



Pilots Of The Future: Suicide And The Internet

Science Daily News

December 3, 2010


In a World Report in this week's Lancet, Senior Editor Niall Boyce looks at the relationship between suicidal people and the internet, and gauges opinion from scientific and community leaders on what can be done to prevent suicide in the online age of today.



Depression Screening Urged for Young Women With Menopause-Like Symptoms

Health Day News

December 3, 2010


Young women with a menopause-like condition called primary ovarian insufficiency should be evaluated for depression, a new study suggests.



Genetic Error Implicated in Risk of Depression

Psych Central News

December 3, 2010


Following a large study of people with major depression, scientists believe a genetic error along chromosome 5 may be the critical factor that makes people vulnerable to the disorder.



Remission more likely than psychosis transition in ultra-high risk teens

Med Wire News

December 3, 2010


Adolescents at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis are three times more likely to achieve remission over a 2-year follow-up period than to make the transition to full-blown psychosis, research shows.





Free Webinar: Research to Practice -- Bringing Evidence-Based Practices to Your Organization

National Council on Community Behavioral Healthcare

December 2, 2010


There has been much talk recently about the need for health providers to adopt evidence-based practices. Yet, translating research into practice can often be challenging - and providers need practical strategies to meet this challenge. This webinar will focus on what it takes to successfully identify, select, implement and sustain evidence-based/evidence-informed practices in real world organizational and community settings. Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. central time. Registration required.



A Page in the Life: Rick Riordan

The Telegraph

December 2, 2010


Nicolette Jones talks to Rick Riordan, the creator of the Percy Jackson series, about myths, culture and ADHD.



Community Clinic to join the Interfaith Family

Woodlands Online, LLC

December 3, 2010


THE WOODLANDS, Texas - Beginning January 1, 2011 The Community Clinic will join Interfaith of The Woodlands family of service.  ... "The Community Clinic is pleased to be associated with Interfaith of The Woodlands in order to enhance our ability to provide free medical, dental, mental health, and social services to those who are uninsured and on a limited income. We are excited about the future strength that will result from this relationship for our community."



How to survive finals week: Five tips that will help you reduce stress with the end of the semester in sight.

The Horn

December 3, 2010


Headaches, nervous breakdowns, agitation and sleepless nights - these conditions have once again made their way on campus with finals week looming in the future. As end-of-the-semester-stress approaches, check out these five study tips to sanely get you through the next week and a half.



Best selling author to speak at Bullying Conference


December 2, 2010


TYLER, TX - Barbara Coloroso will be the speaker for the Parent Services Center annual parenting conference on Saturday, January 22, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  The conference, "The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander," will be held at the Ornelas Activity Center on the UT Tyler Campus, 3402 Old Omen Road.


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