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

April, 2011



Physician Bills Raise Concern About Safety, Motive

Texas Tribune

April 5, 2011


Are Texas doctors hamstrung by unfounded complaints? Reps. Bill Zedler and Fred Brown think so. They've filed bills that would make it tougher for the state Division of Workers' Compensation and the Texas Medical Board to keep physicians off the job who are anonymously - and perhaps wrongly - accused of misconduct. But both seemingly doctor-friendly bills are opposed by the state's largest physician organization, which warns that, as written, they could jeopardize patient safety. 



Texas House budget deals blow to Harris County; Analysis: More than $2 billion in Medicaid funding would be lost

Houston Chronicle

April 5, 2011


Harris County health care providers would lose more than $2 billion in Medicaid funding under the Texas House budget that passed Sunday night, according to an Austin think tank. The Center for Public Policy Priorities' county-by-county analysis found the hit, by far the most in the state, would reduce overall Medicaid funding for Harris County hospitals, doctors, nursing homes and other providers by 38 percent from the amount spent on such care in 2009. 



How State Budget Could Affect El Paso City And County


April 4, 2011


EL PASO, Texas -- There is unrest in the Lone Star state. Protestors outside the capitol used coffins to prove their point - that cuts to mental health care and nursing homes - could cost some their lives. After a marathon debate - Republicans have made it clear that they won't support tax increases, making cuts inevitable.  ...Democrats are urging Republicans to take more from the rainy day fund. They wanted to use $3 billion in reserves to pay current bills and billions more to lesson cuts. But Republicans aren't budging, saying cuts will eventually lead to a better economy. 



Burke Center faces 'pretty significant' cuts in state's proposed budget

The Lufkin Daily News

April 5, 2011


The Burke Center could stand to lose 20 percent of its funding from the state, based on House Bill 1, the general appropriations bill passed Sunday night by House representatives. 





Revenue suffers as felons' penalties fall

Dallas Morning News

April 5, 2011


Dallas County's felony court judges are assessing smaller fines and court costs to offenders than in previous years, contributing to a slide in fee revenue the county has relied on to help balance the budget. ... .Many of those on probation suffer from mental illness or substance abuse and, as a result, don't have jobs or a steady income. 



Behavioral health hospitals merging

Denton Record Chronicle

April 4, 2011


...UBH and Mayhill Hospital care for patients suffering from mental health disorders or addictions. Ascend officials said the merger would result in few noticeable changes. 



Leander High School freshman fatally shoots self on campus

Austin American-Statesman

April 4, 2011


LEANDER - Hours after a Leander High School freshman fatally shot herself during school hours on campus Monday, police and school district officials provided few answers as to where the student got the gun and what led to her death. 



Experts offer advice on preventing teen suicides


April 4, 2011


The death of a second Leander High School student in one week will have counselors out at the school all day Tuesday.  ..."In light of this tragedy, I would urge all parents to talk to their teens about suicide prevention to let them know that help is available and that help can work," added Keller who is working with a Texas lawmaker proposing a state law which would require suicide prevention in all Texas schools. 



Mom gets 20 years for smearing feces on daughter's catheter

Austin American-Statesman

April 4, 2011


A woman who police say was captured on video smearing feces on her 3-year-old daughter's catheter pleaded guilty to injury to a child Monday and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. ... Outside court, her lawyer, Bob Phillips , attempted to explain her behavior. Phillips said McDonald was "under extreme psychological stress" at the time of her crime, stress he said was brought on by factors including fatigue and depression. 





Mexican migrants have more depression and anxiety than those born in the U.S., survey finds

Los Angeles Times

April 4, 2011


Mexican migrants are more prone to mental health disorders compared to Mexicans who were born in the United States, researchers reported Monday. The researchers compared survey data from 2,519 non-migrant Mexicans and 554 recent Mexican migrants. They found that moving to the United States increases the risk of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems in people ages 18 to 35.,0,4293334.story 



Sheriffs want limit on jail wait for mentally ill

Chicago Tribune

April 4, 2011


SPRINGFIELD, Ill.- A group representing county sheriffs in Illinois is supporting legislation to address a backlog of jail inmates waiting to be transferred to crowded state psychiatric facilities.  The Illinois Sheriffs' Association said inmates sometimes wait months in jail before they can get into a state facility for court-ordered treatment. These inmates, defendants who have been determined unfit to stand trial because of mental illness, can sometimes return to court to stand trial after treatment.,0,2859740.story 



Rx for Combat Stress: Comradeship

The Wall Street Journal

April 2, 2011


After nearly a decade of war, military commanders have concluded they're in danger of losing the battle against emotional trauma. One in five troops returns home from Afghanistan and Iraq saddled with some form of mental-health issue, says Dr. Matthew Friedman, executive director of the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Not only are lives ruined, officers say, but the military, already stretched, is also stripped of forces it wants to send back to the field. 



Disparities: Illness More Prevalent Among Older Gay Adults

New York Times

April 1, 2011


Older lesbian, gay and bisexual adults in California are more likely to suffer from chronic physical and mental health problems than their heterosexual counterparts, a new analysis has found. They also are less likely to have live-in partners or adult children who can help care for them. 



A law you need to know about

Times Union

April 4, 2011


Four years ago, New Yorkers with group health insurance coverage were guaranteed access to improved mental health benefits under Timothy's Law, the state's mental health parity law. If you didn't know that, you're not alone. 



Mobile center brings services to Ariz. veterans

San Antonio Express News

April 5, 2011


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The brunt of the counseling services Erik Adams, a veteran and counselor, offers is for post-traumatic stress disorder.  ...In late 2009, the Prescott Veterans Center received a $286,000 mobile Vet Center to take mental health services to vets throughout northern Arizona. And since 2010, the mobile unit comes to Flagstaff twice a month. 



NH attorney general says fatal shooting justified

San Antonio Express News

April 4, 2011


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney says police in Concord were justified in the shooting death of a man they say came at them with a hatchet last month.  ...Delaney says an investigation revealed that Martin - who sustained a brain injury in a 2000 car crash and suffered from mental illness - was off his medication, ranting and threatening to kill police before he was shot in the March 2 confrontation in his apartment. 





Lone Star reform hinges on Gov. Rick Perry


April 5, 2011


AUSTIN, Texas - Everything is bigger in Texas - the challenges for implementing the federal health reform law included. POLITICO interviews with Texas legislators and lobbyists indicate that Gov. Rick Perry is unlikely to take the steps necessary to implement the insurance exchange required under the federal health reform law, which means the task will probably be left to the Obama administration. 



'Unreasonable' Health Insurance Rate Increases

Health Affairs

April 4, 2011


Bethesda, MD -- A new Health Policy Brief from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation describes a new requirement for reviewing "unreasonable" health insurance rate increases. A provision of the Affordable Care Act requires such reviews for individual and small-group health insurance (typically for companies with fifty or fewer employees). The goal is to discourage insurers from inappropriately raising premiums and to make the health insurance market more consumer-friendly and transparent. 



More Physicians Say No to Endless Workdays

New York Times

April 1, 2011


... Like Dr. Dewar, many other young doctors are taking salaried jobs, working fewer hours, often going part time and even choosing specialties based on family reasons. The beepers and cellphones that once leashed doctors to their patients and practices on nights, weekends and holidays are being abandoned. Metaphorically, medicine has gone from being an individual to a team sport. 





Cuts threaten our children's futures: Early intervention can make big difference

Houston Chronicle

April 4, 2011


Proposed cuts to early childhood intervention programs in Texas would jeopardize our children's futures. Whether your child has a disability, developmental delay or is typically developing, the cuts will affect every child. 



The Magical Realm of Texas ...where bluebirds sing and massive budget cuts cause no human suffering

Texas Observer

April 4, 2011


Shame and despair. Those are, finally, the best words I can conjure. I've been sitting at the keyboard for a couple of hours now, straining my brain for some clever and catchy way to express how it feels to be a Texan right now. But it's hard to be clever about an unfolding human catastrophe that appears unstoppable-and that's exactly what Texas' budget crisis amounts to. 





Teenagers Who Feel Like They Don't Fit In Less Likely to Attend College, Sociologist Finds

University of Texas at Austin News

April 4, 2011


AUSTIN, Texas - High school students who feel they do not fit in are less likely to attend college - particularly girls who are gay or obese - according to new research from The University of Texas at Austin.  ...Crosnoe found feelings of not fitting in led to increased depression, marijuana use and truancy over time. Those coping strategies interrupt the education process - the classes teenagers take, the grades they make - which, in turn, affect their ability to go to college. 



Depressed Teens with History of Abuse Less Likely to Respond to Combination Treatment

National Institute of Mental Health

April 4, 2011


Adolescents with treatment-resistant depression who have a history of abuse-especially physical abuse-are less likely to respond to combination treatment than to medication alone, according to data from the NIMH-funded Treatment of Resistant Depression in Adolescents (TORDIA) study. The new study was published in the March 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 



Could Pop Music Be Linked to Depression?

HealthDay News

April 4, 2011


A preliminary study of American kids suggests a connection between listening to pop music and suffering from major depressive disorder. But, before you pull the battery from your child's MP3 player, know that the study did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship. And there was no clear indication whether kids who were predisposed to depression were more strongly drawn to music or, instead, faced a greater risk for depression as a result of their music exposure. 



Low Income Associated With Mental Disorders and Suicide Attempts, Study Finds

Science Daily News

April 5, 2011


Low levels of household income are associated with several lifetime mental disorders and suicide attempts, and a decrease in income is associated with a higher risk for anxiety, substance use, and mood disorders, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. 



Depression Drugs Seem to Thicken Arteries

Psych Central News

April 5, 2011


A new study reveals that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other forms of depression medications appear to cause a thickening of arteries. Depression is a known risk factor for heart disease and the new findings suggest antidepressants may combine with depression to detrimentally influence blood vessels. 



Valence influences odor identification in schizophrenia patients

Med Wire News

April 5, 2011


Odor identification accuracy in patients with schizophrenia is influenced by odor valence, with patients more likely to incorrectly identify pleasant and neutral smells than unpleasant ones, researchers have found. 





Mission Accomplished, Nonprofits Go Out of Business

New York Times

April 1, 2011


A few nonprofit groups have recently announced plans to wind down, not over financial problems but because their missions are nearly finished.


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