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

March, 2011



NAMI Notes on Public Policy: HB 703

NAMI Texas

March 26, 2011


The House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence heard testimony March 22 on HB 703.  This bill, sponsored by Rep. Gutierrez, would provide criminal penalties for patients who injure healthcare workers.  NAMI Texas has concerns about this bill, as it has the potential to criminalize the actions of persons who inadvertently injure a healthcare worker while in a mental health crisis and who may be unable to understand the consequences of their actions, or to conform their behavior to the requirements of the law due to mental illness. A number of advocates testified about problems with the bill, and Mental Health America of Texas (MHAT), Disability Rights, and the Hogg Foundation provided education on the bill as it might affect persons living with serious mental illness.





Inside the House's Brutal Budget: Latest budget bill still contains harsh cuts to education, health care and the environment

Texas Observer

March 25, 2011


... It's hard to understate the impact of the spending cuts to health and human services in the latest version of the House budget. If these policies are instituted, people will lose their lives. That may sound overly dramatic, but it isn't. Nursing homes will close; the mentally ill won't get their meds and may injure themselves or others; the mentally disabled will be kicked out of community homes and consigned to large institutions; and child-abuse prevention programs will be slashed.



Mental health cuts could leave Texans without some key services

Cleburne Times-Review

March 24, 2011


In a state that already ranks 49th nationally in mental health per-capita expenditures, according to the Texas Medical Association website, proposed budget cuts by the Legislature could leave vulnerable Texans with serious mental illnesses without services.





Several Texas Counties Rank High in Diversity Index

Texas Tribune

March 28, 2011


The Bronx. Queens. Fort Bend? Texas now has some of the nation's most diverse counties, according to an index created by USA Today to analyze U.S. census data. Nine Texas counties make the list of the 40 most diverse counties in the country, according to the analysis.



Jailbroken: How private prison vacancies are sending Texas counties into debt

KUT News Austin

March 29, 2011


Private Prisons. Texas has more of them than any other state in the country and until a few years ago, rural cities and counties were lining up to incarcerate inmates for profit. Then something changed. Today, roughly 30 percent of Texas' county jail beds sit empty. Empty prisons should sound like good news, but the trend has left many Texas communities with prisons they can't fill and mounting debts.



Local families find help for children with obsessive-compulsive disorders

Dallas Morning News

March 28, 2011


Katie Kellar was 12 when the dark, unspeakable thoughts that would recur and torment her for years first intruded.



Facebook helps save Amarillo life


March 28, 2011


AMARILLO, TEXAS - Amarillo police say if it wasn't for a friend's reaction to an online facebook post, one person wouldn't be alive anymore. Over the weekend the crisis intervention team responded to a suicide threat, getting there just in time to cut a noose off of the man's neck - saving his life.



Family of boy who hanged himself sues Joshua district

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

March 28, 2011


A federal lawsuit filed Monday in Dallas accuses the Joshua school district and several school officials of violating the civil rights of 13-year-old Jon Carmichael by ignoring repeated acts of bullying against him along with his pleas for help in the days leading up to his suicide.



Sheriff's Office: Missing man needs medication

El Paso Times

March 28, 2011


Sheriff's deputies are asking for help in finding a missing man who reportedly has mental illness. ... Williams reportedly has bipolar/schizophrenic condition for which he takes medication but has not since he went missing, officials said.





NH mental health centers protest cuts

San Antonio Express-News

March 28, 2011


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A woman who credits mental health treatment with saving her life said Monday that proposed state budget cuts will put both her and her children at risk.



Spending concerns suicide specialists

Las Vegas Review-Journal

March 29, 2011


At a time when more Nevadans are despairing, those who help the mentally ill worry proposed cuts to mental health spending could add to the state's notoriously high suicide rate. Less funding means less access to mental health services for the unemployed and uninsured who, hit hard by the recession, might become despondent or even suicidal.



Workers protest reform pace at Napa State Hospital

San Antonio Express-News

March 28, 2011


NAPA, Calif. (AP) - Psychiatric workers at Napa State Hospital protested Monday against the slow pace of reform following the killing of a nurse last year and subsequent assaults on colleagues.



An Older Generation Falls Prey to Eating Disorders

The New York Times

March 28, 2011


More than 10 million Americans suffer from anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders. And while people tend to think such problems are limited to adolescence and young adulthood, Judith Shaw knows otherwise. Experts say that while eating disorders are first diagnosed mainly in young people, more and more women are showing up at their clinics in midlife or even older. Some had eating disorders early in life and have relapsed, but a significant minority first develop symptoms in middle age.



Judge proposes change in Loughner's mental exam

Austin American-Statesman

March 28, 2011


PHOENIX (AP) - The judge who ordered a mental competency exam for the suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage has proposed a change to that ruling. U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said in records filed Monday that he was mistaken in ruling that 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner can seek a separate competency exam by an independent psychiatrist in addition to the evaluation already under way by court-appointed professionals at a medical prison facility in Missouri.





Health law safety net gets little attention: Expanded coverage doesn't start until 2014

Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

March 29, 2011


... The primary goal of the 1-year-old health care law - a goal that has gotten scant mention by supporters and opponents alike - is to offer a financial safety net to tens of millions of Americans by providing or subsidizing their health insurance coverage. The lack of attention given to the provision that will eventually expand coverage to millions of additional people stems partly from its not kicking in until 2014, nearly three years from now.



N.J. health centers in bind on helping the poor

Philadelphia Inquirer

March 28, 2011


... Gov. Christie has proposed reducing community health centers' reimbursement rates for treatment of the uninsured by 10 percent at the very time they face increased demand because of the recession and budget cuts in other health programs for the needy. The number of low-income uninsured patients whom the state has reimbursed the centers for treating statewide has risen 35 percent since 2007, to 178,775.



Demand Grows For Palliative Care

Kaiser Health News

March 29, 2011


... Specially trained palliative care teams, which typically include a doctor, a nurse, a social worker and a spiritual counselor, focus on relieving pain and managing symptoms. They coordinate a patient's care among different providers, if necessary, and help patients and their families determine care goals and make treatment decisions. If a patient is nearing death, the palliative care team can offer emotional and spiritual support.





Johns Hopkins Team Identifies Genetic Link To Attempted Suicide

Johns Hopkins Medicine

March 28, 2011


A study of thousands of people with bipolar disorder suggests that genetic risk factors may influence the decision to attempt suicide. Johns Hopkins scientists, reporting in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, have identified a small region on chromosome 2 that is associated with increased risk for attempted suicide.



Kids' Psychological Problems Have Lasting Impact on Social, Economic Potential

Psych Central News

March 28, 2011


A 50-year study of British residents suggests psychological problems experienced during childhood can have a long-lasting impact throughout an individual's life course. Researchers discovered childhood problems reduced people's earnings and decreased the chances of establishing long-lasting relationships.



Psychiatric Problems With Epilepsy Impacted by Gender

Psych Central News

March 29, 2011


New research suggests children with epilepsy are more likely to have psychiatric symptoms - with gender playing a role in the type of developmental issue.  In a study of Norwegian children, scientists discovered girls had more emotional problems, while boys had more hyperactivity/inattention problems and issues regarding peer relationships.



Many depressive patients fall into 'soft bipolar spectrum'

Med Wire News

March 29, 2011


Around 85% of patients who present with depression may show some degree of bipolarity based on the concept of the soft bipolar spectrum, study results show. The researchers also claim to have validated the diagnostic entities of bipolar II1/2 and IV disorder using the predictive value of temperament profiles.



NIMH Recommends Some Psychosocial Interventions for Schizophrenia

Internal Medicine News Digital Network

March 28, 2011


TUCSON - The latest National Institute of Mental Health-supported Schizophrenia Patient Outcomes Research Team report on the state of psychosocial interventions for schizophrenia has come under fire for what some experts see as short shrift given to several novel nonpharmacologic treatments that they view as firmly evidence based and ready for use in clinical practice.



Subjective QoL, psychosocial functioning independent in schizophrenia

Med Wire News

March 29, 2011


Subjective quality of life (QoL) and psychosocial functioning are independent constructs in schizophrenia and should be assessed separately, results of a study suggest. Indeed, the severity of illness symptoms seems to have a greater influence on social functioning than on subjective QoL.,_psychosocial_functioning_independent_in_schizophrenia.html





Who's Who: Decreasing the Stigma of Mental Illness Through Film

March 23, 2011


... My first daughter was born in 1999; eight months later, I became pregnant with my second. My husband was gone a lot. I became depressed. Although we'd been here several years, I did not have a community of friends. It wasn't until my daughter was 3 or 4 that I heard other mothers talking at playgrounds [about these feelings]. The current film, Burning the Village, came out of this feeling that something was not quite right.



Scarface's Mental Health Issues Profiled In Excerpt From New Book On Southern Rap


March 24, 2011


In an excerpt from "Dirty South: OutKast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip Hop," Scarface speaks on issues with mental health and more.





Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Philanthropy News Digest

March 17, 2011


Statistics about poverty in the United States are alarming. And given the recent history of intergenerational progress among the poor, foundations and philanthropists alike should be asking, "Where's the impact?" For fifty years, we've been investing in anti-poverty programs and initiatives. To what end? If we want to break the cycle of poverty, maybe it's time to re-think our investments.


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