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

December, 2010



Lawmakers hint at TYC merger

Austin American-Statesman

December 16, 2010


A public hearing about the future of the Texas Youth Commission today produced no vote, but a strong hint that legislative leaders may be leaning toward merging it with the state Juvenile Probation Commission. ... Two advocacy groups that two years ago had lobbied against a merger - the Texas Appleseed Project and Advocacy Inc. - today endorsed merging the Youth Commission into a new juvenile justice agency that could better treat and rehabilitate Texas' most troubled youths.



Mental health funding cuts could backfire

Plainview Daily Herald

December 16, 2010


According to Ron Trusler, it always rolls downhill. The state cuts funding to an agency that serves indigent patients and others, then that agency is unable to serve local residents who cannot afford to fully pay for services. Then guess where they have to go, the city council member and CEO of Central Plains Center (MHMR) asked rhetorically - "local hospitals and county jails."



Is San Francisco Anti-military? The Right Has it Wrong

Huffington Post

December 16, 2010


... In Corpus Christi, Texas, Abel Chapa, the office director can't handle more than one or two veterans a day. Yet, now he is getting between 50 to 75 people a week in phone calls and drop-ins and he has no resources to accommodate even a fraction of the demand. Chapa doesn't accept appointments because he's in and out of the office. The office, in a part of the courthouse that used to be a credit union, doesn't have a waiting area and the door is kept locked. Veterans can ask a secretary for help through what used to be a teller's window. Those factors have led to some of the complaints. .



More musicians to get mental health services under contract

Austin American-Statesman

December 16, 2010


The board of Central Health, formerly the Travis County Healthcare District, agreed this week to boost its contract with the SIMS Foundation by $65,000. The increase brings to $265,000 the maximum value of the annual contract between the board and the SIMS Foundation, which provides mental health counseling and addiction recovery services to musicians and their family members.



Pain Clinics: Do Some Prescribe Legal Drugs Illegally? An ABC News Hidden Camera Investigation

ABC News

December 14, 2010


... Despite a law passed in September aimed at fighting "pill mills", over 150 are still in existence, giving out prescriptions for millions of controlled drugs each year in the Houston area alone, according to the Texas Medical Board. ... Often known on the street as "smurfing", recruiters and low-level dealers approach homeless people encouraging them to visit a pain clinic and acquire prescription medications in return for quick cash. Bill estimates he has gone on these types of prescription drug runs upwards of 75 times and after each one, pockets around 20 dollars per prescription he fills.



Deputies Investigated For Excessive Force: Family, Neighbors Say Victim Was 'Jumped'

KSAT San Antonio

December 15, 2010


SAN ANTONIO -- Mike Sanders will never forget last Saturday night.  ..."All the time he's saying, 'I'm scared, I'm scared.' You could hear him yelling to them," said Sanders. "The guy was confused, he suffers from schizophrenia. He's trying to put his hands out where he can see them and get out of the car."



Making daughter happy is mom's priority

Houston Chronicle

December 17, 2010


The first few months after her mother left the most satisfying job she had ever had to undergo treatment for depression, Jalisa Fisher cried, longing for a hot bath. But during the past year or so, the 10-year-old lover of all things girly has grown more accustomed to having to boil water on a hot plate and living without basic comforts she has known most her life.





Excellence in Mental Health Act Introduced in U.S. Senate; Senators Stabenow and Reed Call for Federally Qualified Community Behavioral Health Centers

National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

December 16, 2010


Washington, DC - The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (National Council) applauds the introduction of the Excellence in Mental Health Act in the U.S. Senate today by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Jack Reed (D-RI). The proposed legislation, championed by the National Council, seeks to increase access to community mental health and substance use treatment services for all Americans and to improve Medicaid reimbursement for these services.



Patrick Kennedy Packs Up 63 Years of Family History

New York Times

December 16, 2010


WASHINGTON - Nightfall on the Kennedy era in Washington looks like this: Representative Patrick J. Kennedy's office space surrendered to a Republican, his family memorabilia in boxes, and Mr. Kennedy yearning for a role away from the public eye. ... The younger Kennedy had his own signature achievement with a 2008 law that requires equal insurance coverage for treatment of mental and physical illness, and he became a strong proponent of removing American troops from Afghanistan. In recent months, he has advocated more research and treatment for veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury.



Sebelius and Holder announce new tools to prevent and fight fraud at regional summit

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

December 16, 2010


As part of the Obama Administration's ongoing efforts to prevent and fight fraud in our nation's health care system, US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would be acquiring some new state-of-the-art fraud fighting analytic tools to prevent wasteful and fraudulent payments in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.



After Attacks and a Killing, Fear Stalks Napa State Hospital

New York Times

December 16, 2010


Napa State Hospital, a 135-year-old facility for the mentally ill, sprawls over hundreds of acres in wine country, its grounds dotted with palm, oak and redwood trees. Employees of Napa State Hospital and others at a memorial for Donna Gross, a psychiatric technician killed on the grounds. But in this pastoral setting, an epidemic of violence has scared staff members and patients, leading state legislators to call for emergency financing to help make the hospital safe.



A Life Devoted to Health, Framed by His Siblings' Disabilities

New York Times

December 17, 2010


In two weeks, Dr. Mitchell H. Katz will leave the San Francisco Department of Public Health after 24 years, more than 13 as its director. ... His personal story shows how complex it can be to manage mental health and homelessness. Even Dr. Katz, educated at Harvard Medical School and an expert in public health, was unable to prevent his sibling from living on the streets. But it is also a situation that Dr. Katz said had informed his strategies for combating homelessness.



SOLD! Bull Street property under contract: Upstate developer to pay $15 million for old State Hospital

The State (SC)

December 16, 2010


An Upstate developer has signed a contract to buy the 165-acre state mental hospital campus on Bull Street in one of the most anticipated and significant land deals in city history.  ...The sale now must be approved by South Carolina courts because the parcel is owned by a trust dedicated to the treatment of the mentally ill.



California jury finds baby-killing mom insane, must continue with mental health care

Los Angeles Times

December 16, 2010


SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A former hairdresser who claims postpartum psychosis led her to run over her infant son with the family Volvo is still insane and cannot be released from intensive, court-ordered mental health care, a jury found on Thursday.,0,2778065.story





20 states ask judge to throw out Obama health law

The Washington Post

December 16, 2010


PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Attorneys for 20 states fighting the new federal health care law told a judge Thursday it will expand the government's powers in dangerous and unintended ways. The states want U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson to issue a summary judgment throwing out the health care law without a full trial. They argue it violates people's rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties.



Judge Hints He May Rule Against Health Law

New York Times

December 16, 2010


PENSACOLA, Fla. - A federal judge asserted on Thursday that it would be "a giant leap" for the Supreme Court to accept the Obama administration's defense of a central provision of the new health care law, suggesting he may become the second judge to strike it down as unconstitutional.



Experts Ponder 'Plan B' Options For The Individual Mandate

Kaiser Health News

December 16, 2010


... One idea is to raise everyone's taxes - and then give big tax breaks back to people who get insurance. Other proposals include creating strict open-enrollment periods so that people can't game the system, or an opt-out mechanism carrying stiff consequences for people who decline to get covered.



States Will Drive Support For Pre-Emption Bill

Kaiser Health News

December 16, 2010


Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is seeking bold new authority for states to preempt the health care overhaul law as early as 2014, and he expects that governors will help pitch his legislation in Washington. The new law gives states the ability to substitute their own reform plans in 2017 if, and only if, they can convince the federal government their approach would cover the same number of people with comprehensive insurance, and at a similar price.





Texas spending cuts are like eating an elephant, only worse

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

December 16, 2010


You ought to be able to cut $20 billion or more out of a two-year state budget that started out at $182.3 billion, right? That's what the Legislature apparently will have to do next year. The governor, lieutenant governor and current House speaker have been working on it for almost a year. It's an ugly task.



Health care reform law is worthless without mandate

Houston Chronicle

December 16, 2010


So you thought health care was fixed. Well, maybe not "fixed," but you assumed that the new law had put us on the path to solving one of America's most pressing problems - spiraling health care costs amid surging numbers of uninsured citizens. No, no, no. The recent decision by Judge Henry E. Hudson, of a U.S. district court in Virginia, pumps new life into Republican efforts to kill health care reform by draining the program of a means to pay for it.



The wrong way to reform health care

The Washington Post

December 17, 2010


On Thursday, 20 states argued in a Pensacola, Fla., courtroom against not only the individual mandate in the federal health-care law but also the massive Medicaid expansion that places state budgets and taxpayers in peril. Our suit differs from that brought by the state of Virginia, but we agree that the health reform law crosses legal boundaries. The Obama administration has threatened that court rulings against this legislation will devastate efforts to provide universal health care. Yet until struck down, ObamaCare will be a disaster for our Constitution.





Reformed Medical Curriculum Improves Minority Success Levels

Inside Higher Ed

December 17, 2010


Reforms in the medical school curriculum may have a dramatic impact on the success rates of minority medical students, according to a new study in the journal Medical Education. The study examines the impact of an "integrated medical curriculum" -- in which courses focus more on problem-solving than on memorization -- at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Traditionally high failure rates for black and Latino medical students on the Step 1 licensing exam dropped dramatically for those who went through the new curriculum, the study found.



Kids Got the Blues? Maybe They Don't Have Enough Friends

Science Daily news

December 17, 2010


Friendless kids can become social outcasts who risk spiraling into depression by adolescence, according to new research from Concordia University, Florida Atlantic University and the University of Vermont. Yet for most shy and withdrawn children, the study reports in the journal Development and Psychopathology, friends can be a form of protection against sadness.



People Who Join Groups Better Off Physically, Mentally, Emotionally

Psych Central News

December 17, 2010


New research further bolsters the positive effects of social contacts, finding that participation in different social groups can improve mental health and help a person cope with stressful events.



Neuralstem Receives FDA Approval To Commence Drug Trial For Major Depression

Medical News Today

December 17, 2010


Neuralstem, Inc. (NYSE Amex: CUR) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its Investigational New Drug (IND) application to initiate a Phase Ia safety trial to test NSI-189, its first small molecule compound, in major depression.



Neurologic soft signs in schizophrenia show strong clinical correlates

Med Wire News

December 17, 2010


Patients with schizophrenia show subtle neurologic deficits, known as soft signs, which comprise four factors that have distinct clinical correlations, study results demonstrate.



Quality of life scale devised specifically for bipolar disorder

Med Wire News

December 17, 2010


Researchers have developed a specific scale for measuring Quality of Life in Bipolar Disorder (QoL.BD), following a 4-year program of research involving patients in the process.



Brain Anomaly Leaves Woman Without Fear

Health Day News

December 17, 2010


Researchers who have studied a woman with a missing amygdala -- the part of the brain believed to generate fear -- report that their findings may help improve treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders.





SAMHSA Recovery Month Annual Award Program to recognize outstanding efforts to highlight treatment and recovery services

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

December 16, 2010


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is announcing a new annual award program to honor organizations that do the most outstanding jobs of hosting National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) events. Each September Recovery Month provides a platform for communities and organizations throughout the country to highlight the social benefits of providing treatment and recovery services for substance abuse use and mental health conditions, and promotes the message that recovery is possible.



Social Work Today E-newsletter

December 2010


In this issue:

·         An Experience of 'Not Knowing' Challenges Existing Practice Models

·         Technology Takes on Social Work

·         Social Work in the Emergency Department

·         The Arts and People With Alzheimer's

·         Drug Company, Academics Search for New Psych Meds

·         Stigma Still Stops Latinos From Getting Treatment

·         Could Rash of Suicides Prompt Copycats?

·         Not in My Back Yard' Attitude Persists



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