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

February, 2011



Proposed Medicaid Cuts More Than Seven Times Deeper Than 2003

Center for Public Policy Priorities

February 16, 2011


The underfunding of Medicaid in the proposed state budget would be more than seven times the depth of the disastrous 2003 Medicaid and CHIP cuts. Medicaid funding proposed in House Bill (HB) l is estimated by the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) as falling $18 billion (All Funds) below the amount needed to maintain current benefits, provider fees, and eligibility standards.   ...Read Associate Director Anne Dunkelberg's testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article II, which includes the county-by-county effect of the proposed budget cuts for Medicaid.



Proposed state budget cuts threaten home care services

11 News

February 17, 2011


HOUSTON - About 3,000 people in Harris County that depend on home care services are bracing for state budget cuts.  ...MHMRA says legislators are proposing a 30-percent cut to HCS programs statewide. That's in addition to other proposed cuts for mental health services.





Austin area population increases by nearly half million, 2010 census data show

Austin American Statesman

February 17, 2011


Mirroring statewide trends among metropolitan areas, Central Texas grew larger and more diverse over the past decade, increases driven by spectacular growth in Hispanic and minority populations.  ... Travis County grew by 26.1 percent, officially eclipsing the 1 million mark to 1,024,266, making it the fastest-growing county among the five most populous counties in Texas.



UTMB Doctors Named Among Nation's Best

Galveston County Daily News

February 17, 2011


GALVESTON - An extensive peer review has identified 80 doctors from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston as among the Best Doctors in America.  ... The results of the survey showed that UTMB Health physicians in various fields are considered among the best in the nation.



Springing back: Army equips families to cope well through resiliency training

El Paso Times

February 18, 2011


FORT BLISS -- It's not only soldiers who are being trained to be more resilient in the face of multiple combat deployments. Their spouses and family members are getting guidance, too.  ...Shaw said that while mental resiliency training isn't a new phenomenon, she's encouraged that the Army has embraced it as a part of its efforts to better prepare and care for military families.





Ron Artest to tout Mental Health in Schools Act in Washington

Los Angeles Times

February 17, 2011


Advocating for mental health has produced all kinds of trickle effects for Ron Artest.   ...And his willingness to speak out on the issue earns him an appearance Thursday in Washington, where he will be highlighting, on behalf of Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-Norwalk), the merits of the proposed Mental Health in Schools Act, which would provide $200 million in funding.



AP Enterprise: Only several states follow post-Va. Tech law against mentally ill having guns

Chicago Tribune

February 17, 2011


ATLANTA (AP) - More than half the states are not complying with a post-Virginia Tech law that requires them to share the names of mentally ill people with the national background-check system to prevent them from buying guns, an Associated Press review has found. The deadline for complying with the three-year-old law was last month. But nine states haven't supplied any names to the database. Seventeen others have sent in fewer than 25, meaning gun dealers around the U.S. could be running names of would-be buyers against a woefully incomplete list.,0,6556382.story



A.D.H.D.: To Medicate or Not to Medicate?

The New York Times                                                                                                  

February 17, 2011


Do drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder need to be taken for life? Are they dangerous? Are there alternatives to medications? There are among the questions posed by readers of the Consults blog. Dr. Russell A. Barkley, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina and author, most recently, of "Taking Charge of Adult A.D.H.D.," responds.



Va. Tech shooting victims oppose campus guns bill

Houston Chronicle

February 17, 2011


AUSTIN, Texas - Colin Goddard, who was shot four times during the Virginia Tech rampage and survived by playing dead, urged Texas lawmakers on Thursday not to allow concealed handguns in college classrooms.  ...Goddard is now an activist for the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence. He says Texas lawmakers should require stronger background checks for gun sales and require schools to have better mental health programs and more efficient alert systems to help avoid situations like the Virginia Tech shootings.



School tries computer program to help disorders

San Antonio Express News

February 17, 2011


JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - If you look at many common issues people can have - such as anxiety, nightmares, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder and substance abuse - they all lead back to one place: the brain. Healing the brain is often done through counseling, medications or both, however another method also exists - neurofeedback.





Administration Seeks Clarity From Judge on Health Ruling

The New York Times

February 17, 2011


The Obama administration asked a federal judge on Thursday to clarify whether his recent ruling against the new health care law was meant to block its implementation pending appeals. The judge, Roger Vinson, of Federal District Court in Pensacola, Fla., ruled on Jan. 31 that the provision requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance was unconstitutional, and that the entire Affordable Care Act was therefore invalid. While the judge did not specifically enjoin the law, he suggested that his ruling should be treated as the "functional equivalent" of an injunction.





Harman: Philanthropy stands by with buckets to help bail state out of budget mess

Austin American Statesman

February 17, 2011


As Texas stares down the biggest budget crisis in its history, philanthropy stands ready to do all it can to help our state's leaders plan for an uncertain future. Like the State of Texas, many foundations invest the overwhelming majority of their resources in education and health and human services.



Is Texas really on the brink?

Dallas Morning News

February 17, 2011


Every week, we poll the members of the editorial board on a timely and divisive topic. This week, the question is: The liberal-leaning Texas Legislative Study Group has released the latest version of its "Texas on the Brink" report, detailing the numerous categories in which the state ranks at or near the bottom of the nation, from per capita spending on mental health to average credit score. How much is this annual review a cause for concern?



Guns on campus would make OU safer

The Oklahoma Daily

February 17, 2011


...The bill in its current form is far from perfect, and several changes would need to be made before it's passed into law. The bill should require all licensed concealed carriers on campus to register their firearms with campus police. And it should also re-examine the current concealed licensing process, placing a stronger emphasis on more rigorous training courses and establishing a system for applicant mental-health background checks.



Culture of care extends to aiding peers with mental health issues

Rice Thresher

February 18, 2011


I'm clinically depressed. I take antidepressants, and I see a therapist in the Counseling Center regularly. .... If you know me personally, you probably had no idea. And why would I ever tell you? If you knew, you'd probably see me differently - you might judge me, look down on me, pity me or maybe even avoid me. So why am I telling you now? Because it's time to break the silence.





Psychotherapy Eases Chronic Fatigue, Study Finds

The New York Times

February 17, 2011


A new study suggests that psychotherapy and a gradual increase in exercise can significantly benefit patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. While this may sound like good news, the findings - published Thursday in The Lancet - are certain to displease many patients and to intensify a fierce, long-running debate about what causes the illness and how to treat it.



Lifestyle Changes as Treatment for Mental Health Concerns, Depression, Anxiety

Psych Central News

February 18, 2011


For years, health professionals have advocated lifestyle changes in the form of diet, exercise and stress reduction to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. New research shows that lifestyle changes - such as getting more exercise, spending more time in nature or helping others - can be as effective as drugs or counseling for many mental health concerns.



Antipsychotic Drugs Raise Heart Risks, Experts Warn

Health Day News

February 18, 2011


Doctors must not forget about the physical health of people with serious mental health disorders who take antipsychotic drugs, experts warn.The authors of an editorial in the Feb. 19 issue of The Lancet noted that patients with severe mental illness live an average of 16 years less than people in the general population. Heart disease, not suicide, is the major cause of death in these patients and antipsychotic drugs are a factor.



Mixed symptoms linked to suicidality in bipolar disorder youth

Med Wire News

February 18, 2011


Mixed mood symptoms in young people with bipolar disorder are associated with an increased risk for suicidality, research shows."Clinicians may want to be vigilant in assessing mixed features as part of their risk management when working with youths with mood disorder," say Eric Youngstrom (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA) and team.



Cognitive training benefits patients at high risk for schizophrenia

Med Wire News

February 18, 2011


"Persons at risk [for schizophrenia] have been shown to be already impaired in verbal executive and memory functions [and] ultra-high risk prodromal patients suffer from significant cognitive deficits that are not associated with severity of clinical symptomatology," write Georg Juckel (Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany) and team in the journal Psychiatry Research.



Making Sure Physical Health Is Not Forgotten In People With Serious Mental Health Conditions

Medical News Today

February 18, 2011


People with severe mental illness have lives 16-25 years shorter than does the general population, but in these patients coronary heart disease, not suicide, is the major cause of death. The lead Editorial in this week's Lancet says that physical health must not be forgotten in patients with serious mental health conditions that take antipsychotic drugs.



Mental Health America Joins In Supporting Mental Health In Schools Act

Medical News Today

February 18, 2011


Mental Health America joined with a wide spectrum of organizations in supporting the Mental Health in Schools Act.The legislation was introduced by Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus.



BP Spill Leaves Large Psychological Imprint

Psych Central News

February 18, 2011


A new study on the psychological impact of the explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform and the ensuing oil spill, depicts far-ranging effects on people living along the Gulf Coast.The April 2010 catastrophe had significant psychological impact on people living in coastal communities, even in those areas that did not have direct oil exposure.


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