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

June, 2011



UT Tyler Researcher Receives Grant to Study New Approach to Treating Anxiety

The University of Texas at Tyler

June 17, 2011


... With the $17,150 grant, Sass will develop a computer program that can divert people's attention away from emotionally arousing stimuli that may contribute to anxiety. She hopes to show that attention training is capable of reducing symptoms of anxiety. "This project has potentially far-reaching implications for refining theories about the cause and treatment of anxiety," Sass said. "If proven effective, computer-based interventions can be used to treat people with less access to mental health resources, such as those without health insurance, from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds or who live in rural locations.



UT Arlington researcher to study depression among elderly Latinos

The University of Texas at Arlington

June 17, 2011


... According to Mora, disadvantaged minorities, especially Latinos, have poorer physical and mental health than their majority European-American counterparts. Cultural differences in how elderly Latinos express physical or mental health symptoms can affect diagnosis and treatment and may be an underlying factor in these health disparities. "My project will help increase our understanding about how Latinos view mental illness and how these beliefs influence their decisions to seek care. This knowledge will improve our ability to develop culturally competent practices that can reduce mental health disparities that negatively affect Latinos," Mora said.



Dr. Ezequiel Peña wins grant to study bilingual counselor training

Our Lady of the Lake University

June 16, 2011


... Peña will evaluate OLLU's Psychological Services for Spanish Speaking Populations (PSSSP), a nationally recognized, certificate program that develops language and cultural competency so bilingual counselor trainees can provide mental health services to Spanish-speaking clients. The graduate-level curriculum includes supervised therapy sessions conducted in Spanish at OLLU's Community Counseling Service on the West side. "The absence of trained bilingual therapists often means relying on unskilled interpreters who lack professional fluency, or even places a client's child in the awkward position of go-between for counselors and parents," Peña said. The program at OLLU was designed to avoid these ethically compromising situations.





House OKs privatization option for prison health care

Austin American-Statesman

June 17, 2011


A bill to start charging Texas prison convicts up to $100 a year for their medical care sparked the latest skirmish over a continuing push to allow private companies to provide medical care in the state's 112 prisons. The move surfaced Thursday in an approved amendment to House Bill 26 that would allow the state committee that oversees prison medical care to initiate a competitive bidding process for the $900 million health care network.





Central Health board approves $1.7 million boost in mental health spending

Austin American-Statesman

June 16, 2011


To meet increased demand for services, officials at Central Health said they will spend $1.7 million more on Travis County patients needing psychiatric care over the next three months. The Central Health board voted Wednesday night to boost its contract with Austin Travis County Integral Care, the public agency that oversees mental health services in the community, from $3.3 million to a maximum of $5 million through Sept. 30, the end of Central Health's budget year.



Green Zone Facility Opens In Tyler To Treat Military Members

Tyler Telegraph

June 15, 2011


Andrews Center Behavioral Healthcare System opened The Green Zone on Tuesday, a new nonprofit facility designed for military veterans and their families. ... The Green Zone's counseling services include programs for veterans' family members as well, from peer support groups to individual counseling. It can be essential for military families to reach out and support one another, said Lori Thomas, a military services family partner at the Andrews Center.



Who decides what's medically necessary?

Dallas Voice

June 16, 2011


Say the phrase "transgender health benefits," and most people immediately think insurance coverage that pays at least some of the costs of sexual reassignment surgery. But there's a lot more to it than that. ... "Transition-related care" can be divided into two parts, Keisling said: the costs directly related to gender reassignment surgery, and the other treatments and services that are related, things like checking hormone levels, lab tests, and mental health services associated with the transition process.



Coalition to combat bullying is launched in El Paso schools

El Paso Times

June 17, 2011


CANUTILLO -- An anti-bullying campaign was launched Thursday in hopes of educating the public and preventing bullying in schools and neighborhoods. The Anti-Bullying Coalition, led by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, has the goal of raising awareness on how bullying can lead to serious physical and psychological harm, said coalition chairman Cmdr. Jesus Campa.



Advocate receives state award for coverage of mental health issues

Victoria Advocate

June 16, 2011


The Victoria Advocate, on Thursday, received the Frank M. Adams media award for coverage and support of mental health issues. Editor Chris Cobler accepted the state award on behalf of the newspaper during the annual convention of the Texas Council of Community Centers at the Westin Galleria in Houston.



Steve Blow, News Sued Over "Suicide" Column

Dallas Observer

June 16, 2011


Courthouse News brings us this lawsuit filed two days ago in Dallas County District Court: John Tatum and Mary Ann Tatum v. The Dallas Morning News, inc. and Steve Blow. At issue is this column, which appeared in the paper on July 12, 2010: "Shrouding suicide in secrecy leaves its danger unaddressed."



Dad hits accused cyberbullies with lawsuit

Houston Chronicle

June 17, 2011


Who sues kids for cyberbullying? A Houston lawyer does when his daughter becomes the target of a nasty video posted on Facebook, according to a lawsuit filed this week in Harris County.



Galveston native executed for fellow prisoner's stabbing death

Beaumont Enterprise

June 16, 2011


HUNTSVILLE (AP) - Convicted killer Lee Andrew Taylor, a Galveston native, was executed on Thursday for fatally stabbing a fellow Texas prisoner, his second murder in a four-year span. ... "Lee Andrew Taylor's childhood was fraught with physical abuse, mental illness, neglect, instability, sexual abuse, substance abuse and exposure to traumatic violence," lawyer David Sergi told the court.



'Insane' alleged cop shooter declared competent for trial again

News 25 Waco - Killeen - Temple

June 16, 2011


WACO - A Waco man may soon find out if he's sane enough to stand trial for allegedly attempting to kill a police officer nearly four years ago. ... According to court documents obtained by News Channel 25, Moten told doctors that while serving prison time during the 1980s, several wardens murdered another inmate in front of him.  Court records show Moten has been back and forth between the courts, jails and state mental institutions ever since.



Convicted murderer may face mental evaluation

KFDA Amarillo

June 16, 2011


Randall County, TX- A convicted murderer made an appearance in a Randall County courtroom Thursday afternoon. Brittany Holberg's defense attorneys and the Texas Attorney General's office discussed with Judge Ana Estevez whether or not the state would be able to do a mental evaluation to determine if she does have a mental illness like the defense is now claiming.



Update: Judge orders mental evaluation for girl facing arson charges

KCEN Waco - Killeen - Temple

June 16, 2011


A 14-year-old Kaufman County girl appeared in Smith County Juvenile Court today, facing charges that she set a fire inside the Dollar General store in Tyler Wednesday morning. The teen has been in custody of Child Protective Services for five years, according to testimony.



Texas Medical Board disciplines 92 doctors

Cleveland Advocate

June 16, 2011


At its June 2-3, 2011 meeting, the Texas Medical Board disciplined 92 physicians, including 30 actions involving standard-of-care violations. ... On June 3, 2011, the Board and Rick Alan Szumlas, M.D., entered into an Agreed Order lifting Dr. Szumlas' March 2011 suspension and requiring Dr. Szumlas to receive care and treatment from a Board-approved psychiatrist twice a month and limit his practice to a group or institutional setting approved in advance. The action was based on the Board's finding that Dr. Szumlas suffers from a mental impairment when not receiving appropriate and regular treatment for his mental condition.





Sentences can't be lengthened for rehab, Supreme Court rules

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

June 16, 2011


WASHINGTON - Alejandra Tapia's tough life is now one for the law books, as the Supreme Court on Thursday agreed with her that judges can't lengthen prison sentences in order to get inmates into drug rehab. ... Tapia is incarcerated at Federal Medical Center Carswell in Texas, which specializes in medical and mental health services for female inmates. Her sentence, which calls for her to be released in November 2012, now will be re-evaluated.



Conn. court: Mistakes made in parental rights case

Beaumont Enterprise

June 16, 2011


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that lower court judges denied a Waterbury-area man his right to contest child neglect allegations before he and his girlfriend lost parental rights to their two young children. ... In 2007, Judge Robin Wilson deemed the two children neglected and ordered them into DCF custody, even though the parents were with them only a few days in hospitals after their births. The ruling came under the state's "doctrine of predictive neglect," based on DCF officials' belief that the children would be endangered because of the couple's mental health problems.



A Schizophrenic, a Slain Worker, Troubling Questions

The New York Times

June 16, 2011


...The killing on Jan. 20 stunned the mental health care community in Massachusetts. The "shattering event," as one former state mental health official called it, occurred days before Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, released his proposed budget, which would slash mental health spending for the third year in a row. And it raised the timely but uncomfortable question of whether such continuous belt-tightening had played a role in Ms. Moulton's death.



Calif. seizes 1,200 firearms possessed illegally

Houston Chronicle

June 16, 2011


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)  - California law enforcement agents have seized 1,200 firearms from people who cannot legally own them because of mental illness or restraining orders. However, Attorney General Kamala Harris said Thursday that more than 34,000 handguns and nearly 1,600 assault weapons are still believed to be held statewide by people who should not have them.



Some patients sickened when accidentally given risperidone instead of ropinirole, and vice versa

Los Angeles Times

June 15, 2011


Some patients have been sickened and at least one may have died when they were inadvertently given the antipsychotic drug risperidone (Risperdal) instead of the Parkinson's drug Requip (ropinirole) or vice versa, the Food and Drug Administration warned this week.,0,2338703.story





Video: Rockefeller Says He Will Fight 'To The End' Against Medicaid Cuts

Kaiser Health News

June 16, 2011


KHN's Mary Agnes Carey talks to Sen. Rockefeller about his efforts to defend the Medicaid program.



Affordable Care Act funds to help create healthier U.S. communities

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

June 16, 2011


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced a funding opportunity for national networks of community-based organizations to apply for more than $4 million in cooperative agreements. Community-based organizations will play a key role in building a healthier nation, and these funds will help support, disseminate, and amplify the evidence-based strategies of the Community Transformation Grants (CTG) program in communities nationwide, including rural and frontier areas and in those areas with health disparities.



NAMI Comments on Medicaid Funded Home and Community-based Services

National Alliance on Mental Illness

June 16, 2011


The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) is proposing a new rule which will affect Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers under section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act. Read NAMI's comments to CMS.





Suicide Epidemic Warning Following Japanese Triple Disasters

My Fox Houston

June 16, 2011


TOKYO -- The Japanese government was warning Thursday of an epidemic of depression and suicide as a result of mental trauma caused by the earthquake, tsunami and ongoing nuclear disaster.





New Study on Family-to-Family: It's All about People

National Alliance on Mental Illness

June 16, 2011


NAMI has long been proud of its Family-to-Family program, our free, 12-week self-help course in which trained volunteers who have family members living with mental illness teach coping skills to others. We now have a new reason to be proud. A landmark study published in the current issue of Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association, has found that the program "significantly" improves coping and problem-solving abilities of family members. It offers "concrete practical benefits" and serves as a valuable "complement" to professional care.





A Mystery Partly Solved: How the 'Club Drug' Ketamine Lifts Depression So Quickly


June 15, 2011


A new study sheds light on why the anesthetic and "club drug" ketamine can relieve depression rapidly - in hours, instead of weeks or months. The findings may help provide new targets for developing antidepressants and increase researchers' understanding of the devastating disorder.



Link Between Postnatal Depression And Depression In Offspring Until Age 16

Medical News Today

June 17, 2011


Fortunately, postnatal depression often resolves itself in the weeks following childbirth. But for mothers with more profound or prolonged postnatal depression the risk of subsequent development of depression in their children is strong. A recent study is the first to demonstrate that the effects of maternal depression on the likelihood of the child to develop depression may begin as early as infancy.



ADHD and early onset worsen pediatric bipolar disorder

Med Wire News

June 17, 2011


Children and adolescents with bipolar disorder have a chronic course with a low rate of remission, say US and Spanish researchers who found that early age at onset and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) predicted a worse prognosis.



New report shows a 55 percent increase from 2005 to 2009 in emergency department visits for drug-related suicide attempts by males aged 21 to 34

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

June 17, 2011


A new national study shows that from 2005 to 2009 there was a 55 percent increase in emergency department visits for drug related suicide attempts by men aged 21 to 34 -- from 19,024 visits in 2005 to 29,407 visits in 2009. In 2009, there were a total of 77,971 emergency department visits for drug-related suicide attempts among males of all ages. The report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that visits from younger adult males involving certain pharmaceuticals increased substantially.





Recovery Now Seminar

BiPolar USA and Collaborative Integrative Therapy

June 2011


Mental health recovery is a dynamic movement in the field of psychiatry and psychology which has gained increased attention in the last several years. With more and more people achieving and enjoying recovery, the call to address needs and develop services that extend outside the therapy room and beyond medication has become ever greater. Presentations will include discussion of recovery literature and research, challenges and benefits of recovery, and currently available and developing recovery-oriented services. Thursday, September 22 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Rice University in Houston.



Anthony Graves: The TT Interview

Texas Tribune

June 16, 2011


Despite it all, Anthony Graves is remarkably positive. He's just happy to be off death row, and elated to be working to bring hope to his friends who are still there. ... "What I'm doing is the investigative work on cases. I'm doing the mitigation part, where I go and try to find things in their background that could help get them relief, see if there's any mental illness or any abuse or anything in their background that we could bring forward to the court. I dedicated my life to helping people who have been wrongfully convicted, and I dedicated my life to educating people about this death penalty."



Fitting in seems overrated in two musicals of substance: NEXT TO NORMAL

Dallas Voice

June 16, 2011


... It's not the easiest material to make into a musical. Diana (Patty Breckenridge) had struggled with bipolar disorder for years, ever since a tragedy left her with a slipping grip on reality. Her husband Dan (Gary Floyd) has soldiered on, monitoring her prescription use and looking for warning signs. But what if Diana doesn't want to feel "normal"? What if feeling a little crazy is her baseline - it's normal for her?



Book Review: Are antidepressants glorified placebos? Three new books raise the possibility

KXAN Austin

June 16, 2011


(CNN) - Which came first, the mental illness or the drug? While in other areas of medicine this is a no-brainer (no pun intended), some argue that certain psychiatric conditions are created and classified because of the effects particular drugs have on the body, and not the other way around.


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