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

January, 2011



Miners on the Move

University of Texas at El Paso

January 2011


Claudette I. Barragan '10 has been awarded a scholarship from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to support bilingual mental health services in Texas. She is a graduate of UTEP's Department of Social Work.





What's the Matter With Texas?

New York Times

January 20, 2011


... But how did a state which touts its fiscal tightfistedness find itself in a deficit bind in the first place? Its oil and gas industries hummed along during the recession, and it had no housing meltdown. Unions are not an issue, and it has the lowest state spending in the nation per person. Many fiscal conservatives say that the gap is not a problem. Why do they say that? Are there lessons for other states?



No new taxes, but fees aplenty in budget plan; Revenue hunt also targets state sales-tax holiday, Sunday liquor sales

Houston Chronicle

January 21, 2011


AUSTIN - Texans could find themselves digging deeper for traffic fines, child-support payments processed by the state attorney general's office and millions of dollars in other fees under the no-new-taxes budget proposal released by House leaders this week.



Proposed Budget Targets Education, Health Care, Jobs

KPRC-TV Houston

January 19, 2011


Public education, health care and jobs are among the cuts proposed in the state budget. Mary Benton reports.



Huge prison medical cuts proposed

Austin American-Statesman

January 19, 2011


... In the budget plan made public late Tuesday, correctional managed health care -Â as the medical program is called - would be decreased by $226.6 million - a 24 percent drop that would reduce psychiatric care, funding for meds, place new limitations on how much hospitals could be reimbursed for treating convicts and limit other treatment payments.



Budget cuts could hit close to home

Brenham Banner Press

January 20, 2011


Cuts in Texas' budget could hit close to home, officials are warning.  ...State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) said the cuts also calls for the closure of two state supported living centers and the privatization of one state mental health hospital. Brenham State Supported Living Center is Washington County's largest employer, and it has consistently ranked as one of the best facilities of its kind in the state system.



Austin officer fired over handling of suicide case; Memo says he didn't check on welfare of man who later shot himself

Austin American-Statesman

January 20, 2011


Austin police officer Keith McCook had just pulled away from the home of a distraught man last year when the man's wife called 911: Her husband, an alcoholic, was thinking of harming himself and had hunting rifles in the house. But McCook, according to documents made public Thursday, didn't turn around when he learned about that call. He went to dinner instead. The next day, the man was found dead after shooting himself in the head.



Central Health adds $800K to mental health contract

Austin Business Journal

January 20, 2011


The Central Health Board of Managers on Wednesday approved an $800,000 increase for a mental health services contract with Austin Travis County Integral Care. The increase brings the total contract amount to $4.3 million, up from $3.5 million. The deal covers additional inpatient mental health crisis services through the end of the year for eligible Travis County residents. The contract, which was set to expire at that time, will now be renewed on Feb. 1.



Grants renewed to aid homeless

Denton Record Chronicle

January 21, 2011


Federal housing officials have renewed more than $600,000 in grants to area groups that work with the homeless.  ...To qualify for help, MHMR clients must have a diagnosis that contributes to their chronic homelessness, High said. The diagnosis is either one of mental health, developmental disability or severe physical disability



Mental health exec lobbies in Austin

Times Record News

January 21, 2011


Roddy Atkins, executive director of the Helen Farabee MHMR Centers, made the trip from North Texas to Austin this week and has a full agenda for today, focusing on a subject close to his heart.  ...Currently, Helen Farabee MHMR Centers are contracted to provide mental health services to 1,937 adults monthly, and the number during the past few months has reached closer to 2,700-2,800.



Harris County's red ink brings pink slips; Layoffs begin as all Harris County departments draft plans for bare-bones operations

Houston Chronicle

January 20, 2011


County government layoffs have begun as Harris County seeks to trim its $1.3 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins on March 1.



Student remains jailed after threatening video

Houston Chronicle

January 20, 2011


... Assistant Harris County District Attorney Bill Exley said McGriff apparently posted the threatening video in an effort to be re-enrolled in his school. McGriff said in the video that one of the assistant principals, "should not have kicked him out of school," according to court records. McGriff's attorney, Steven Greenlee, said he suspects the teen has emotional and psychological problems and requested a mental health evaluation.





Poll Finds Wariness About Cutting Entitlements

New York Times

January 20, 2011


... Nearly two-thirds of Americans choose higher payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security over reduced benefits in either program. And asked to choose among cuts to Medicare, Social Security or the nation's third-largest spending program - the military - a majority by a large margin said cut the Pentagon.



States' Budget Crises Cut Deeply Into Financing for Mental Health Programs

New York Times

January 20, 2011


TUCSON - Unlike many of her fellow governors, Jan Brewer of Arizona knows well the inner workings of her state's mental health system: her son has schizophrenia and was committed to a state hospital more than 20 years ago after being found not guilty by reason of insanity of sexual assault and kidnapping.



Arizona Legislature backs Brewer on Medicaid waiver

The Arizona Republic

January 21, 2011


Republican lawmakers on Thursday gave Gov. Jan Brewer authority to ask federal officials for permission to cut 280,000 people from the state's low-income health program to help bridge next year's $1.1 billion budget gap. Critics argued that the move is both unconstitutional and fruitless.



Dayton says administration is 'dedicated' to Medicaid expansion

Minnesota Public Radio

January 20, 2011


St. Paul, Minn. - Gov. Mark Dayton said during his campaign that enrolling 95,000 people in an expanded Medicaid program would be his top priority when he took office -- and he meant it.



Health chief lays out revamped oversight for addiction and mental health clinics

Baltimore Sun

January 20, 2011


The state's top health official laid out new oversight measures Thursday aimed at better policing taxpayer-funded drug treatment and mental health providers.,0,5072733.story



Mo. gov. seeks to close part of juvenile facility

San Antonio Express News

January 20, 2011


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The secure unit for juvenile offenders in a southwestern Missouri facility could be closed. And adult prison inmates could do their shopping at machines in prison canteens.  ...The governor submitted a $23.1 billion budget for 2012 that eliminates 863 full-time government positions, many of which are in the Mental Health, Corrections and Social Services departments.



NC community colleges move to bar safety threats

News & Observer (NC)

January 21, 2011


RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina's community college board is moving ahead with a rule allowing schools to refuse admission to students who campus officials consider a threat.  ...Disabilities groups and the American Civil Liberties Union say they'll monitor how the policy is applied. They say they worry people with mental and physical disabilities will be hurt.



State eyes contract for prisoners' health care

News & Observer (NC)

January 21, 2011


The N.C. Department of Corrections is developing a proposal for a private contractor to take over medical care and mental health treatment for inmates.  ...Last month, the state Department of Health and Human Services issued a call for companies interested in taking over the care of about 90 patients with mental illness accused of crimes or found not guilty by reason of insanity





House Republicans Plan Their Own Health Bills

The New York Times

January 20, 2011


WASHINGTON - Less than 24 hours after voting to repeal the new health care law, House Republicans said Thursday that they would pass discrete bills to achieve some of the same goals, but with more restraint in the use of federal power. At the same time, the speaker, John A. Boehner, said House Republicans would push for much stricter limits on abortion in federal programs, including those created by the new law.



Idaho GOP gets ready to nullify health care reform

The Washington Post

January 20, 2011


BOISE, Idaho -- After leading the nation last year in passing a law to sue the federal government over the health care overhaul, Idaho's Republican-dominated Legislature now plans to use an obscure 18th century doctrine to declare President Barack Obama's signature bill null and void. Lawmakers in six other states - Maine, Montana, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming - are also mulling "nullification" bills, which contend states, not the U.S. Supreme Court, are the ultimate arbiter of when Congress and the president run amok.



HHS announces new grants for insurance exchanges

The Hill

January 21, 2011


The Department of Health and Human Services announced new grants Thursday afternoon to help states implement health insurance exchanges, a key provision of the reform law. The exchanges, which open in 2014, allow individuals and small businesses to pool purchasing power in new state-run insurance markets.



Mental Health America Urges Rejection of Health Reform Repeal

Mental Health America

January 19, 2011


ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Mental Health America today urged the House of Representatives to reject a repeal of the health reform law, which it said takes ground-breaking steps to expand access to care and prevention of mental health and substance use conditions.



Sebelius announces three million Medicare beneficiaries have received prescription drug cost relief under the Affordable Care Act

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

January 21, 2011


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced that three million Medicare beneficiaries nationwide have received prescription drug cost relief through the Affordable Care Act. To date, three million eligible beneficiaries who fell into the drug coverage gap known as the donut hole during 2010 have been mailed a one-time, tax-free $250 rebate check.





Editorial: Texas legislators need balanced attack on budget shortfall

Dallas Morning News

January 20, 2011


... This newspaper is reconciled to reductions that otherwise would never be considered. That's why we accept that some public education decreases are ahead. But legislators should spread the misery around through a three-pronged approach that relies upon budget cuts, closing tax loopholes and using the Rainy Day Fund. Fortunately, some leading Republicans are embracing that latter option.



What did speeches by the Texas governor and lieutenant governor mean?

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

January 20, 2011


... "As Texans, we always take care of the least among us," Perry said. "We will protect them, support them and empower them, but cannot risk the future of millions of taxpayers in the process." What he meant, according to the proposed budget, is that people who can't pay their medical bills without Medicaid, who need assistance so they can live at home rather than in a nursing home, who are deaf or children with autism or blindness no longer will be included in "the least among us."



Barton, Burgess, Granger, Marchant: Why replacing healthcare act is necessary

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

January 20, 2011


... Our market-based plan will not come with the current law's trillion-dollar price tag. It takes the power away from Washington and puts it in your hands. Reforms include expanding health savings accounts, allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines, expanding state high-risk pools so that people with pre-existing conditions get the coverage they deserve, and much needed medical liability reform (something that is already helping Texans).



Who Qualifies for the Insanity Defense?

New York Times

January 20, 2011


... In the three decades since the Hinckley case, brain research and brain scans have made many advances in diagnosing and categorizing mental illness. Yet this seems to have little bearing on how society deals with insanity and culpability in the legal arena. What has been learned in the decades since the Hinckley case? Should a better medical understanding of mental illness alter our legal definitions of insanity? Or is the insanity defense rooted in principles or traditions that actually don't have much to do with medicine?



GOP's childish opposition to healthcare reform

Los Angeles Times

January 21, 2011


Get over your bad selves. That's basically what former Senate Republican leader Bill Frist told his GOP compadres this week as they set about trying to dismantle the national healthcare reform law. "It is not the bill that I would have drafted," he said during an appearance at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. "But it is the law of the land and it is the platform, the fundamental platform, upon which all future efforts to make that system better, for that patient, for that family, will be based.",0,3847114.column





Majority of US Adolescents With Severe Mental Disorders Have Never Received Treatment for Their Conditions, Study Finds

Science Daily News

January 21, 2011


A recent study by Merikangas and colleagues published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP) shows that only half of adolescents that are affected with severely impairing mental disorders ever receive treatment for their disorders.



Certain neurochemicals reduced in pediatric bipolar disorder

Med Wire News

January 21, 2011


Children and adolescents with bipolar disorder have lower levels of certain neurochemicals than mentally healthy children, and this may indicative of abnormal neurodevelopment, say researchers.



Good Bond Between Therapist, Depressed Patient Aids in Recovery

Health Day News

January 21, 2011


A good relationship between a patient and therapist is likely to improve the patient's recovery from depression, a new study finds.But the outcome of the patient-therapist alliance is often affected by the patient's marriage and occupational status, unusual variations of major depression and coexisting personality disorders (if any), the researchers found.


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