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

March, 2011

82nd LEGISLATIVE SESSION

 

Tea party lawmakers agonize over budget

Austin American-Statesman

March 6, 2011

 

... The expected vote on spending the rainy day fund would present an especially tough dilemma for new, tea party-backed legislators who would have to weigh, for example, deep cuts in school spending against their constituents' desire to see government shrink. Huberty and several other freshmen from the Tea Party Caucus said they're willing to consider using that money.

http://www.statesman.com/news/texas-politics/tea-party-lawmakers-agonize-over-budget-1302662.html 

 

 

State budget cuts threaten to unravel Tarrant County's safety net for the mentally ill

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

March 5, 2011

 

... Today, better collaboration makes it possible for mentally ill patients to get high-quality care while avoiding incarceration, which is costly and not suited to their needs, said Patsy Thomas, president of the Mental Health Connection. But just as demand for services is growing, many programs are in jeopardy from looming state budget cuts. With $152 million in proposed cuts in 2012 and 2013 hanging over their heads, professionals at mental-health agencies fear that crisis services and community-based programs will be reduced and state mental hospitals will lose beds.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/03/05/2899281/state-budget-cuts-threaten-to.html#tvg 

 

 

State cuts to probation department will be costly later on, official warns

Dallas Morning News

March 3, 2011

 

... The commissioners also heard more dire news about state cuts from Ron Stretcher, the criminal justice director. Stretcher told them proposed cuts to mental health services in Dallas County will further crowd county jails. The county has scraped by with 14,000 more people receiving services with no additional mental health funding from the state over the past few years, he said. Without such services, thousands of homeless and mentally ill people in Dallas County will end up in jail, Stretcher said. And that will mean the county will have to spend more money to house them and to staff an overcrowded jail.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/dallas/headlines/20110303-state-cuts-to-probation-department-will-be-costly-later-on-official-warns.ece 

 

 

Travis County departments asked to trim budgets by 5 percent

Austin American-Statesman

March 4, 2011

 

 For Travis County's 2012 budget, county departments were asked recently to submit a list of 5 percent budget cuts, including explanations of the possible effects of the cuts.... In addition, further reductions in the criminal justice and mental health systems may affect the county's jail population if state jail and mental health beds become less available, the memo said.

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/travis-county-departments-asked-to-trim-budgets-by-1298663.html 

 

 

Mayor, county judge give state of the city, county speeches

Lufkin Daily News

March 4, 2011

 

... Looking at the current session in Austin, Suiter outlined some of his concerns, including redistricting and the possibility of a reduction in funding for juvenile services. In addition, there's the possibility of a complete elimination of funding for misdemeanor probation, which would tremendously increase the number of inmates housed in the county jail and could result in housing inmates there for up to two years, he said. There's also talk of a reduction of funding for mental health services. That, Suiter said, would have two consequences: first, it would lead to the incarceration of people with mental health issues; and second, it would lead to an increase in confrontations with officers.

http://lufkindailynews.com/news/local/article_8c5d4a1a-46d4-11e0-b150-001cc4c03286.html 

 

 

County officials weigh in on proposed cuts to health, human services

Plano Star-Courier

March 6, 2011

 

Heads are turning and hearts are pounding as the state looks to cut ties with heavy spending and reduce the deficit as it slices through the health and human services budget. ... Collin County Commissioner Matt Shaheen agreed, adding that the county receives more than $600,000 in grants from the state to address mental health services that county residents cannot go without.

http://www.planostar.com/articles/2011/03/06/plano_star-courier/news/250.txt 

 

 

Suspect in Texas day care fire had few credentials

Houston Chronicle

March 7, 2011

 

Dallas (AP) -- ... The only training required of registered child-care providers are 20 hours that can be completed within a year of opening. The distinction is important, experts say, because the low end of child care is often all that poorer families can afford. To date, however, only one bill under consideration deals with training for child-care providers. The bill, introduced before the fire by Sen. Royce West of Dallas, would increase the training hours for employees of day-care centers from eight to 16. West's bill has industry support, but child-care advocates believe it doesn't go far enough - something they say the Houston tragedy has reinforced.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7455971.html 

 

 

Texas Lawmakers Debate How to Curb School Bullying

Texas Tribune

March 4, 2011

 

... Asher's death has given momentum to anti-bullying bills filed in the Legislature this session - there are currently more than 15. But the prospect of legislation, supported by teacher organizations and advocacy groups like the Anti-Defamation League, has drawn opponents as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Liberty Institute, a conservative legal organization. They question how successful any new law will be in curbing aggression in schools and say that policing such conduct is best accomplished locally.

http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/texas-lawmakers-debate-how-to-curb-school-bullying/ 

 

 

Austin parents, students, community leaders talk about cyberbullying

Austin American-Statesman

March 6, 2011

 

... A panel made up of educators, psychologists, police, religious leaders and school officials discussed questions from the audience. The panel was moderated by state Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, who is the sponsor of a House bill that would allow schools to discipline cyberbullies. The bill was presented to the public education committee last week.

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/austin-parents-students-community-leaders-talk-about-cyberbullying-1302625.html 

 

 

TEXAS NEWS

 

Texas doctors leaving Medicare hits record high

Houston Chronicle

March 5, 2011

 

Texas doctors fed up with Medicare's declining reimbursements dropped out of the government-funded program for the elderly in record numbers in 2010, according to new data. ... Moos said provisions in the federal health care reform law could "put the brakes" on the disproportionate number of primary-care doctors and psychiatrists dropping out of Medicare. The law will make primary-care physicians who participate in Medicare eligible for a 10 percent payment bonus beginning this year. It also will increase the portion Medicare will pay for outpatient mental health treatment in staggered amounts so that by 2014 these payments are in line with those for other medical services, now reimbursed at higher rates.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7457767.html 

 

 

Tonight She Sleeps Outside -- The New Face of Hunger and Homeless in Dallas

RedOrbit

March 4, 2011

 

What are the new faces of "Hunger and Homeless" in Dallas? They are young and female. Randy Skinner, Executive Director of The Greater Dallas Justice Revival announces the launch of a new public awareness campaign focused on the current hunger and mental health crisis facing the region.

http://www.redorbit.com/news/education/2007536/tonight_she_sleeps_outside__the_new_face_of_hunger/ 

 

 

NAMI offers free course to increase awareness of mental illness

Cleburne Times-Review

March 6, 2011

 

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill has a visibility issue in Johnson County. Its core members meet monthly. But there are only about 10 now. And most of them, member Joan Stewart said, are getting along in years. So NAMI is actively seeking new blood.

http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/local/x1771111059/NAMI-offers-free-course-to-increase-awareness-of-mental-illness 

 

 

Trial begins for alleged baby-killer; Man accused of stomping his child's skull could face death penalty

Houston Chronicle

March 6, 2011

 

GALVESTON - Travis Mullis faces the death penalty in a trial that begins today in Galveston for allegedly stomping his 3-month-old son to death because the baby wouldn't stop crying. ... Mullis's tortured family history and mental illness are likely to be revealed during the trial.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7460020.html 

 

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

Mental health advocates protest cuts

Kansas City Star

March 3, 2011

 

TOPEKA | About 300 mental health advocates gathered in Memorial Hall near the Capitol building Thursday to ask legislators to reconsider proposed cuts to mental health services.

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/03/03/2697228/mental-health-advocates-protest.html 

 

 

Alabama closing Partlow Center in Tuscaloosa

San Antonio Express-News

March 4, 2011

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - The state Department of Mental Health is closing Alabama's last large institution for the mentally disabled. ... Alabama has been moving from large institutions to community-based facilities for several years. The department closed three other large institutions in 2003 and 2004. The department says it now has more than 6,000 people served in more than 100 community-based programs. The state still has other institutions for the mentally ill.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/Alabama-closing-Partlow-Center-in-Tuscaloosa-1042583.php 

 

 

Fort Hood suspect a step closer to court-martial

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

March 4, 2011

 

FORT WORTH (AP) - A brigade commander's recommendation Friday moved the Army psychiatrist charged in the Fort Hood shooting rampage one step closer to facing a military trial and the death penalty.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/03/04/2896535/fort-hood-suspect-a-step-closer.html 

 

 

Too much Sheen: Good for ratings, bad for Sheen?

Austin American-Statesman

March 7, 2011

 

NEW YORK (AP) - ... At least one TV personality was pointedly refraining from covering Sheen. "I'm not gonna do it," Craig Ferguson told his audience on CBS' "Late Late Show." He compared the frenzy to an 18th-century practice of people paying a penny to peer into the windows of asylums to watch the mentally ill.

http://www.austin360.com/television/too-much-sheen-good-for-ratings-bad-for-1303216.html?cxtype=rss_ece_frontpage 

 

 

Slaying victims' relatives are critical of how killers are housed after a 'not guilty by reason of insanity' verdict

Chicago Tribune

March 6, 2011

 

...Larson and other victims' relatives contacted by the Tribune questioned the wisdom of a court and mental health system that would allow Sneider and other killers to go anywhere unsupervised and possibly gain their release someday. Sneider's case also raises questions, experts and victims' relatives say, about whether Human Services should inform families in a timely manner when someone is allowed to leave a mental health center or is transferred to a new one.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-insanity-court-cases-20110307,0,4370315.story 

 

 

HEALTHCARE REFORM

 

Talk Doesn't Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy

The New York Times

March 5, 2011

 

Like many of the nation's 48,000 psychiatrists, Dr. Levin, in large part because of changes in how much insurance will pay, no longer provides talk therapy, the form of psychiatry popularized by Sigmund Freud that dominated the profession for decades. Instead, he prescribes medication, usually after a brief consultation with each patient. ... Medicine is rapidly changing in the United States from a cottage industry to one dominated by large hospital groups and corporations, but the new efficiencies can be accompanied by a telling loss of intimacy between doctors and patients. And no specialty has suffered this loss more profoundly than psychiatry.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/health/policy/06doctors.html?_r=1&ref=health 

 

 

Battle Over Medicaid Block Grants Could Have Far-Reaching Impact

Kaiser Health News

March 6, 2011

 

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and other Republican governors recently demanded that Medicaid, the state-federal health program that covers 50 million poor and disabled, be transformed into block grants. "Y'all would save a lot of money if you let us run the program," Barbour told a congressional committee.

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2011/March/07/block-grants-medicaid-faq.aspx 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 

Mind charity shares stories of mental health

British Broadcasting Corporation

March 6, 2011

 

Katherine Dutson from Cardiff talks about her experiences of mental illness in Becoming My Own - one of a series of digital stories launched by the charity Mind Cymru. She says despite mental health and mobility problems she has tried to make the most of her life, including work as a Mind Cymru volunteer.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-12659247 

 

 

OPINIONS

 

Cut now, pay more later on mental health

Dallas Morning News

March 4, 2011

 

... Here's the really sad part: Texas is already last or next to last in the nation in the per capita amount we spend for people with disabilities. Does it make sense that these vital (already poorly funded) programs should be cut more than other state-funded programs and state agencies? So where do we get the money from in a very difficult financial environment? Here are a few suggestions.

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/local-voices/headlines/20110304-randy-routon-guest-columnist-cut-now-pay-more-later-on-mental-health.ece 

 

 

Budget plan cuts services to the bone

Austin American-Statesman

March 5, 2011

 

... Limiting ourselves to cutting programs for Texans is not the answer. When we refuse to close tax loopholes for corporations that are profiting by the billions, but we cut services for blind children or layoff a hard-working teacher, we are mortgaging the future.

http://www.statesman.com/opinion/ellis-budget-plan-cuts-services-to-the-bone-1300719.html 

 

 

Mental Health Matters: Mental health funding is well worth the cost

Abilene Reporter News

March 1, 2011

 

... Words can be used to sound so businesslike in these ongoing conversations, when in fact we are saying the cost in human suffering is more acceptable than the possible need to ask Texas to help other Texans by giving additional money in the way of taxes from individuals or businesses. Every time we pay any tax it is "new" money. We need to have the opportunity to pay "new" money during this financial crisis in Texas.

http://www.reporternews.com/news/2011/mar/01/mental-health-fundingis-well-worth-the-cost/ 

 

 

As a cop, I saw how cuts affected life on our streets

Dallas Morning News

March 4, 2011

 

In the 1980s, we saw another austerity move like we're seeing today. ... The state lost court cases over its poor funding of prisons and mental institutions. There was a lack of beds, prison guards and mental health workers. So to fix this, there were early releases from prison, downgrading penalties on property crimes and the release of the mentally ill or drug-dependent prisoners to outpatient care.

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/local-voices/headlines/20110304-scotty-holt-of-mesquite-as-a-cop-i-saw-how-cuts-affected-life-on-our-streets.ece?action=reregister 

 

 

Innovative programs for the homeless pay dividends

Houston Chronicle

March 4, 2011

 

... for approximately 27 percent of the 19,462 who continue to be homeless on any given day in the eight largest cities in Texas, they suffer from more severe disabling conditions, including physical and mental illnesses, substance addiction and multiple years of cycling in and out of the criminal justice system, public health institutions and life on the streets. Each of these individuals can cost the community upward of $90,000 per year.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/7457802.html 

 

 

Campus gun policies shouldn't borrow trouble

Austin American-Statesman

March 5, 2011

 

... The reality: Though the possibility of a crazed gunman bursting into my classroom does exist, that possibility is pretty slim; I'm far more troubled by the prospect of a dozen students pulling out their weapons to defend themselves, and inadvertently shooting each other.

http://www.statesman.com/opinion/hanson-campus-gun-policies-shouldnt-borrow-trouble-1300715.html 

 

 

The health care community must engage in a meaningful, apolitical discussion of ethics and economics

Austin American-Statesman

March 5, 2011

 

... The health care community-doctors, nurses, physician extenders, insurers, hospitals, drug and device companies, patients and patient advocacy groups, and the federal and state governments-needs to engage in a meaningful, apolitical (is that possible?) discussion of ethics and economics. Name calling and the use of inflammatory language like "death panels" to gain political advantage through dissembling and fear should cease.

http://www.statesman.com/opinion/zwelling-the-health-care-community-must-engage-in-1300718.html 

 

 

Charlie Sheen: Taboo mental health topics take center stage

USA Today

March 4, 2011

 

The recent drama surrounding actor Charlie Sheen and the fate of his #1-rated television show fascinates me on both a personal and professional level, just as I couldn't stop reading about Tiger Woods or Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus. ...There are learning opportunities. Sometimes in following these stories we may learn about a psychological condition, treatment or diagnosis that could help someone in our own life.

http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/familyfriends/post/2011/03/Charlie-Sheen-Taboo-Mental-Health-Topics-Take-Center-Stage/146278/1 

 

 

RESEARCH

 

Depression and Anxiety Differentially Influence Physical Symptom Reporting

Science Daily News

March 7, 2011

 

Researchers have for decades hypothesized that negative emotions lead to inflated reports of common physical symptoms, like headaches or an upset stomach. But a new University of Iowa study suggests that two negative emotions -- depression and anxiety -- influence symptom reporting in different ways.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110304123642.htm 

 

 

Psychological Science Reports On New Research

Medical News Today

March 7, 2011

 

Controlling the Unconscious: Attentional Task Sets Modulate Subliminal Semantic and Visuomotor Processes Differentially. Unconscious processing can be affected by how a person's attention is focused. Researchers gave volunteers a semantic induction task (i.e., classifying an object as living or nonliving) or a perceptual induction task (i.e., classifying an object as round or elongated) to engage their attention in different ways.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/218323.php



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