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Hogg Foundation for Mental Health News Clips
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, Austin

August, 2011

Today's Clips - August 29, 2011
This summary of recent news and research articles on mental health topics was prepared as a public service by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. Stories from other media sources do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of the foundation and its staff. Media sites may require a one-time free registration and academic and science journal sites may require a paid subscription to access articles.
Subscribe to more Hogg Foundation news and updates -- click on the link at the bottom of the page to manage your subscription.
The Texas gunslinger's gentle foil
The Huntsville Item
August 28, 2011
... The foundation's activities, since its inception in 1940, seem to have been motivated by the compassionate goal of removing the stigma of mental illness so more people would feel comfortable about seeking help. In addition to public education, the foundation also provides grants from Miss Ima's endowment to mental health professionals and researchers. Recent grants have funded research on depression in adults living in small Texas towns, mental health care availability for veterans and how to help veterans succeed in college.
Insurers See Growing Risks As Well As Revenues In Medicaid Managed Care
Kaiser Health News
August 26, 2011
McALLEN, Texas - Sanjuanita Espinoza, 55, doesn't seem like a gold mine for private insurers. She's disabled, has high blood pressure and has no family to help with her care. Yet, to some Texas insurers, she is an opportunity. In August, the state picked five health plans in South Texas to oversee care for people such as Espinoza who are enrolled in Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor. This scenario is playing out across the country as states increasingly turn to private insurers to rein in the cost of Medicaid.
Rural Texas hospitals prepare for cuts: 'Cost-saving' measures determined by 82nd Legislature to be implemented by Thursday
San Antonio Express-News
August 28, 2011
In the coming months, rural Texas hospitals are facing cuts to programs and services that jeopardize already strained resources. Hospital administrators are bracing themselves and trying to come up with solutions before Thursday, when "cost-saving" measures to Medicaid determined during the 82nd Legislature go into effect.
Urgent situation for AIDS patients in Tarrant County
WFAA - Dallas
August 26, 2011
FORT WORTH -- Once a week, just as he has for more than a decade, John Boeglin goes shopping at the nutrition center at the AIDS Outreach Center in Fort Worth. ...Soon, he and the 2,000 other HIV positive clients who rely on the center's services, will be getting less. ...The entire budget was cut 12 percent, which means impacts to mental health and substance abuse counseling, housing and insurance assistance programs, and dental care.
New University of Texas at Austin Study Reveals Gaps in Services for Sexual Assault Victims in Texas
The University of Texas at Austin News
August 26, 2011
A new University of Texas at Austin statewide study reveals significant gaps in services for sexual assault victims and calls for improvements, including additional funding. ..."Sexual assault crimes persist as a social problem in Texas and the need to propel this issue to the public's attention is pressing," said Busch-Armendariz. "...And, less is known about how these gaps in services impact a victim's experience for a return to full physical, mental and emotional health. It is critical to develop strategies so that victims can come forward."
Despite Risks, County Lockups Continue Late Releases
Texas Tribune
August 28, 2011
... Despite the horror stories and pleading from inmates' advocates and their families, state lawmakers this year failed to approve legislation that would limit jail releases to daylight hours. ... In Houston, George Bement, a case manager, therapist and former pastor, is often there to meet homeless inmates - many of them mentally or physically disabled - when they are released from the Harris County Jail. At Healthcare for the Homeless Houston, Bement and a small staff provide psychiatric and medical care and direct the former inmates to social services. They help the ones they can, but Bement said he knows that there are many others.
Judge: Mentally ill defendants wait too long for treatment
Austin American Statesman
August 28, 2011
... Mentally incompetent defendants wait an average of 54 days for treatment at the Austin State Hospital, but the shortage of beds is a statewide problem. The wait time is 60 days at the state's eight other hospital campuses that offer competency treatment. ... Hohengarten blames the Legislature and state officials for shortchanging the mental health system, forcing many patients from hospitals into homelessness and, eventually, jail.
Report lambasting SAPD has its own problems
San Antonio Express-News
August 28, 2011
The message, at first, seemed clear - the San Antonio Police Department continues to have problems with officer misconduct, accountability and transparency. But even before the hour-long conference was finished, participants were contradicting the overall theme or making factually incorrect statements. ... The report slammed the department on mental health support for officers, but McManus cited counter-examples: peer counseling, employee assistance and therapists that are available.
8 months after Harris inmate's death, family still looking for answers; Case involving 72-year-old man is still being investigated
Houston Chronicle
August 29, 2011
... more than eight months later, Hicks' children still don't know how their father - who had a history of severe mental illness and violence - was injured or who was responsible. Despite telling his family that their investigation of Hicks' death in the jail would be presented to a grand jury by July, prosecutors now say they are still interviewing witnesses to an altercation that left the inmate bloody and unconscious.
Dallas vet struggles with brain injury, PTSD, VA medical system
Dallas Morning News
August 29, 2011
... After intense criticism over its handling of blast concussions, the military has in recent years toughened protocols for handling them. But for Litz and others, it is too little, too late. Litz relies on the strained medical services of the Department of Veterans Affairs, where psychological injuries and brain injuries compete with the "more real" problems of amputations and other physical ailments. Litz and his wife call it the "VA machine."
Ex-Abilene woman spreads love to fight pain of losing kids in violence
Abilene Reporter News
August 18, 2011
Since her son killed her daughter more than four years ago, Charity Lee has decided to fight violence using education, criminal justice reform and victim advocacy as her weapons. ...She said she suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome, deep depression and fits of rage, which she described as "waves of the ocean." Her organization works with the San Antonio Police Department to send a worker to each homicide to support victims. Her goal is to open ELLA community centers in crime-ridden communities across the state.
Ruling may broaden insurance plans' coverage for mental illness
Los Angeles Times
August 28, 2011
A Northern California woman's treatment for anorexia at a residential facility was medically necessary and must be covered by her healthcare plan, a federal appeals court has ruled in a case that could lead to more extensive benefits for those being treated for mental illnesses.,0,3394129.story
Fines proposed for W.Va. psychiatric overcrowding
Houston Chronicle
August 26, 2011
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A court monitor recommends fines of $1,000 per day against the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources for overcrowding at two state-run psychiatric hospitals.
Company offers to treat W.Va. psychiatric patients
Houston Chronicle
August 29, 2011
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A private company is offering to treat some patients at West Virginia's state-run psychiatric hospitals to ease overcrowding, and the idea isn't sitting well with advocates for the mentally ill.
Neb. struggling with rural mental health services
Houston Chronicle
August 26, 2011
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska is still struggling to provide rural, community-based mental health and substance abuse services to children who need it, a top state health official said Friday. Nebraska Medicaid Director Vivianne Chaumont told a joint legislative panel that the state will have to rely more on such providers as it tries to come into compliance with federal rules for mental health and substance abuse treatment. ...Chaumont said Medicaid unknowingly paid for children in such institutions for years, even though federal rules ban it.
Military capital cases deserve better defense, critics say
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
August 28, 2011
WASHINGTON - ... Courts have concluded that defense attorneys need to consult experts - often psychiatrists with experience in capital cases - and investigate the defendants' backgrounds so they can find such evidence and present it at trial. For instance, a jury that knows of severe mental illness might be less likely to sentence the defendant to death. ... But the military defense attorneys appointed in such cases often don't have the experience to delve into such questions, experts said..
Idaho educators trained to help suicidal students
San Antonio Express-News
August 28, 2011
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) - Administrators and principals in the Coeur d'Alene School District are being trained in suicide prevention techniques in the wake of four suicides by district students in the past 15 months. ... Idaho's suicide rate is high, with nearly 15 deaths per 100,000 people. In Kootenai County, that rate jumps to more than 25 deaths out of every 100,000.
Law murky on identifying police in homeless death
Houston Chronicle
August 26, 2011
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - The refusal of police to release the names of six officers involved in a violent confrontation with a mentally ill homeless man has sparked anger but legal experts said Friday there is significant debate about whether law enforcement can - and should - publicly identify police in such instances.
Kan. capital case raises insanity defense issue
San Antonio Express-News
August 28, 2011
LYNDON, Kan. (AP) - ... James Kraig Kahler's trial highlighted the state's unusual rule for determining when a mental illness or defect warrants a criminal defendant's acquittal. Some legal scholars believe it's more difficult in Kansas than in most other states for a defendant to prevail after making mental illness an issue, raising questions about the constitutionality of the state's standard.
Arizona shooting suspect's condition worsens
Austin American-Statesman
August 28, 2011
SAN DIEGO - The man accused in the Arizona shooting rampage kept himself awake for 50 hours straight after an appeals court stopped forced medication. He walked in circles until he developed sores and then declined antibiotics to treat an infected foot. Already thin, he stopped eating and shed nine pounds. ... Christina Pietz, a psychologist who is treating him at the prison, testified by phone that Loughner is "less psychotic" than in the past and that she is now more concerned about depression.
Killer of Swedish FM says he faked mental illness
San Antonio Express-News
August 29, 2011
STOCKHOLM (AP) - The man who killed Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in 2003 has told a newspaper that he faked mental illness during his trial in an attempt to get a less severe sentence.
Smart move; Deputizing mental health professionals saves lives
Houston Chronicle
August 29, 2011
When law enforcement and mental illness collide, the results are often painful for both sides. Nationally, more than a half-million people with mental illness are behind bars. These unfortunate folks are often jailed for nonviolent offenses. ... This is the sort of incident that makes us glad to see the recent decision of Harris County Commissioners Court to launch the Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) program, which will introduce mental health professionals into the law-enforcement equation.
Help health care: Let nurses in Texas do more
Austin American-Statesman
August 28, 2011
... Texas has the poorest access to care in part because it has the most restrictive laws in the nation on nurses' ability to prescribe. Eighteen states grant independent prescriptive authority; 17 require a collaborative agreement with physicians; and 15, including Texas, require physician delegation to prescribe. Five states in the past three years switched from collaborative to independent authority.
Crosspoint helps make community safer
San Antonio Express-News
August 27, 2011
... Crosspoint also provides veterans services and outpatient behavioral health services. In 2010, approximately 25 percent of San Antonio's homeless adult males were veterans. To address this problem, Crosspoint opened a Veterans Transitional Housing Program in March. About 29 men are living in our Veterans Wing at The Summit, where they receive counseling and employment assistance in a welcoming environment. Crosspoint began providing outpatient substance-abuse treatment in 1998 and started an outpatient mental-health counseling program in 2006.
Putting health coverage within reach
Los Angeles Times
August 29, 2011
To bring health insurance to more Americans, the federal healthcare reform law calls for billions of dollars in subsidies for lower-income households. The law gives states an option, though, that could cut costs while also making the coverage more affordable. Called a Basic Health Program, it would serve as a transitional step between Medicaid and the private insurance plans.,0,5682206.story
School-Based Mental Health Screening For Teens Results In Connection To Care
Medical News Today
August 29, 2011
A new study involving nearly 2,500 high school students demonstrates the value of routine mental health screening in school to identify adolescents at-risk for mental illness, and to connect those adolescents with recommended follow-up care.
Father Time: Children with Older Dads at Greater Risk for Mental Illness
Scientific American
August 29, 2011
A mother's age is often considered a genetic risk factor for offspring, but research is now pointing the finger at fathers, too-particularly when it comes to the mental health of their progeny. Males may have the advantage of lifelong fertility, but as they grow older, the rate of genetic mutations passed on via their sperm cells increases significantly-putting their children at increased risk for psychiatric disorders, especially autism and schizophrenia.
Building a Better Antipsychotic Drug by Treating Schizophrenia's Cause: How Drugs Act On Dopamine-Producing Neurons
Science Daily News
Aug. 27, 2011
The classic symptoms of schizophrenia -- paranoia, hallucinations, the inability to function socially -- can be managed with antipsychotic drugs. But exactly how these drugs work has long been a mystery.
Brotman: Parents grapple with teen's suicide
Chicago Tribune
August 29, 2011
...Depression, the darkness that had first gripped their daughter, Rachel, in high school, returned, and this time struck a fatal blow. Rachel, 19, took her life by strangulation in her bedroom while her parents slept in their room only a few steps away. And now Ilhan and Carmen are going on. They have a 16-year-old son, Rafael, whose welfare urgently occupies their minds. They have each other. But they also have the bitterest of legacies.,0,202229.column
Teaching Psychiatric Patients Writing, and Hope
The New York Times
August 26, 2011
...Six chaplains serve Creedmoor, a state hospital with 400 residents and 10,000 outpatients. The majority of those patients have received diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The chaplains represent Judaism, Islam, Catholicism and both mainline and evangelical Protestantism. They lead worship services, text study groups, spirituality discussions. They will soon hold a 9/11 memorial event. And up and down the corridors and through the wards they offer pastoral counseling.
Back to School Mental Health Series: Helping Children Grow Up Healthy - Mind and Body
Mental Health America
August 26, 2011
A student's health and well-being is directly linked to academic success. However, a student who is troubled cannot learn as easily. Divorce, substance abuse, child abuse, poverty, violence, bullying and suicidal thoughts are among the social stressors placing numerous students at-risk of educational failure and dropping out of school. For the greatest chance of having success, students need to be healthy-physically and emotionally-so they can attend school ready to learn and thrive.
Actor Matthew Newton opens up about mental illness
Houston Chronicle
August 29, 2011
Australian actor Matthew Newton has opened up about his battle with mental illness, insisting a hospitalisation helped him reflect on his issues and "saved" his life. ... The 34-year-old has now revealed the extent of his issues in a candid interview on Australian radio.
Vanderbilt University Receives $4.85 Million From MacArthur Foundation
Philanthropy News Digest
August 29, 2011
Vanderbilt University in Nashville has announced a $4.85 million grant from the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to administer the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience. Led by Vanderbilt professor Owen Jones - one of the few professors of both law and biology in the country - the network aims to address a set of criminal justice problems, including the probable mental states of defendants and witnesses; a defendant's capacity for self-regulating behavior; and whether - and if so how - various kinds of neuroscientific evidence should be admitted and evaluated in individual cases.;jsessionid=AGOIEGVBJOKQBLAQBQ4CGXD5AAAACI2F?id=351600007



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