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Hogg Communications on Mental Health
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

March, 2010



Obama Signs Historic Health Reforms Surrounded By Supporters, Lawmakers

Kaiser Health News

March 24, 2010


President Barack Obama signed into law a sweeping health care system overhaul Tuesday that seeks to cover millions of uninsured Americans while reducing the federal deficit and driving health costs down.



Health overhaul: Immediate change, long term steps

Associated Press

March 24, 2010


WASHINGTON — When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare law in 1965, seniors got their health insurance cards less than a year later. President Barack Obama held his signing ceremony for his health care overhaul on Tuesday, but the major expansion of coverage for uninsured workers and their families won't come until 2014 — after the next presidential election. Parts of the plan won't be fully phased in for a decade, but ultimately 94 percent of eligible Americans would have coverage. Here's a timeline of some changes.



Abbott signs on to a lawsuit to stop new health care law

Austin American-Statesman

March 23, 2010


On the same day that President Barack Obama put his signature on sweeping health care legislation, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott signed on to a lawsuit to try to stop the new law. Abbott and 12 other attorneys general are challenging the constitutionality of the law. The suit was filed in federal court in Florida on Tuesday.



New poll shows rapid increase in support for health reform

San Antonio Express-News

March 23, 2010


Polls aren't always right, but the Gallup Poll is generally one of the nation's most respected. And a new Gallup Poll released this afternoon finds an immediate and dramatic shift in public opinion toward the newly enacted health-reform law. In a period of two weeks, the public went from a net 3 percentage points negative on the Democratic overhaul of our health-care system to a net positive of 9 points.



Health reform will boost the economy

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

March 24, 2010


… By guaranteeing access to affordable insurance, individuals will eventually gain as much flexibility as their employers, and that could usher in a new era of risk taking and innovation. More people will be able to take a flier on a startup or join a small business. Entrepreneurs will find it easier to recruit talent, especially older workers.

Job switching isn't top-of-mind at the moment, during a deep recession, but ultimately this new mobility will translate into a more dynamic economy.



What the Doctor Ordered

Texas Tribune

March 24, 2010


Dr. J. James Rohack isn’t just the president of the influential American Medical Association, an organization that carried the torch for the health care reform bill the U.S. House of Representatives passed this week. He’s a Texan. … At the annual HMO Research Network Conference in Austin this week, Rohack sat down with The Texas Tribune to explain why Texas has so much to gain from the health care overhaul, what effect tort reform has had on the state’s medical costs, and what the political ramifications are for his organization's support of the reform bill — nationally and back home in Texas.



Health care reform brings challenges to hospital district

Houston Chronicle

March 23, 2010


… John Guest, former president of the hospital district and current president of the Teaching Hospitals of Texas, said he thinks a shifting of patients will alleviate much if not all of the crowding that plagues the district. He said he does not know that the shift will leave the district with mostly illegal immigrants, noting that the homeless, the mentally ill and other patients unable to navigate the health care system need a safety net.



Editorial: Sore losers: Health care lawsuits are a misguided continuation of the partisan fight

Houston Chronicle

March 23, 2010


As President Barack Obama signed a sweeping health care reform bill into law Tuesday, the partisan struggle against the legislation began shifting from Congress and the U.S. Capitol to the states and their federal courthouses.



Editorial: Let's find cure for GOP ill will

Austin American-Statesman

March 23, 2010


It is unconscionable that Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott are fighting to keep Texans from enjoying the benefits of landmark health care coverage that President Barack Obama signed into law Tuesday.



Mental Health America Hails Enactment of Historic Health Care Reform Bill

Mental Health America

March 24, 2010


ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Mental Health America today hailed the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" signed by the President today. The legislation will greatly expand access to mental health care and addiction treatment-particularly for the 32 million previously uninsured Americans who will gain access as a result.





Rep scolds agency about worker rap sheets: 17 employees at state institutions for people with mental disabilities had histories that should have barred them from the jobs

Austin American-Statesman

March 23, 2010


A key lawmaker on Tuesday admonished state officials for failing to promptly notify legislators that some employees of state homes for people with mental disabilities were found last year to have histories of committing crimes including murder that should have barred them from employment.



After the Fight

Texas Tribune

March 24, 2010


It has been a year since news broke that staff at the Corpus Christi State School were forcing mentally disabled wards to fight each other. State lawmakers raced to enact new accountability measures. Those measures are being implemented now, including additional surveillance measures that at least one disabled patient says may have gone too far. Ben Philpott, who's covering state politics and policy for The Tribune and KUT News, looks at the changes so far.





Leader of US mental health agency wants psychiatrists to break from drug company influence

Chicago Tribune

March 23, 2010


CHICAGO (AP) — American psychiatrists need to break away from a "culture of influence" created by their financial dealings with the drug industry, the head of the National Institute of Mental Health said in a leading medical journal.,0,5160608.story



Good news for primary care at Match Day

Houston Chronicle

March 23, 2010


Whatever you thought of the passage of healthcare reform, there was little-noticed important news a few days before at Match Day, the annual event at which graduating U.S. medical students learn where they'll go for the residency training that's the last step in their journey to become doctors. For the first time in more than a decade last week, there was an increase in the number of students choosing primary care, a welcome development considering the existing shortage of such doctors has left most of them overworked and many of their patients unable to get sufficient attention or prompt appointments. Increasing the pipeline is thought to be one key to making healthcare reform work, to preventing illness and catching disease at an early stage.



Hello! Your Psychiatrist Will Skype You Now


March 22, 2010


… Telepsychiatry is a growing trend in mental health, says Dr. Kathleen Myers, who treats Rachel up close and personal despite the 75 miles between them. As director of the telemental health service at Children's Hospital, she points to one of the benefits of a videoconference: unlike a phone call, it allows doctors to observe a patient's facial expressions and body language.,8599,1974196,00.html#ixzz0j6tdb1UU



Should Doctors Google Their Patients?

Wall Street Journal

March 23, 2010


By now, it’s well known that almost anyone you meet — from a potential employer to a prospective date — might be searching for information about you online. But would you feel strange knowing that your doctor was Googling you? The practice appears to be widespread, according to an essay in the latest edition of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, and it raises some thorny ethical questions for doctors, particularly those dealing with mental health



Clinical Data, Inc. Submits New Drug Application for Vilazodone for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder

Market Watch

March 23, 2010


NEWTON, Mass., -- Clinical Data, Inc., today announced that the Company has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for vilazodone for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).



Kansas abortion bill sheds mental health exemption

Eagle Topeka (Kan.)

March 24, 2010


TOPEKA — The Kansas House gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill that would prevent women from using mental health as a reason to receive a late-term abortion on a viable fetus. The courts have said that a woman's mental health can fall under the definition of "irreversible impairment of a major bodily function." House Bill 2166 would specify that bodily function does not include mental or emotional functions.



Nevada mental health officials looking into psychiatrist's offbeat YouTube postings

Reno Gazette-Journal (Nev.)

March 23, 2010


Following a complaint to the state, a renowned psychiatrist on staff at the Nevada mental hospital in Sparks is defending his eccentric Internet videos as creative, entertaining ways to promote awareness and education on a highly stigmatized medical condition: mental illness.





Suicide catch in public service disability plan stigmatizes mental illness

Montreal Gazette

March 23, 2010


OTTAWA — The 40-year-old disability plans covering Canada's public servants stigmatize mental illness with an archaic provision that denies benefits to bureaucrats who have ever attempted suicide, says a mental health expert.



School killings reveal mental health woes

China Daily

March 24, 2010


NANPING, Fujian - A man alleged to be mentally ill stabbed eight school children to death and injured five others on Tuesday in Fujian province, a tragedy which experts said once again points to inadequacies in the treatment of such people. … The latest tragedy again highlights the threat to social security posed by the lack of treatment for the mentally ill. Only one in five such patients gets professional treatment in the country, which has more than 16 million people suffering mental problems, experts estimated. They blamed low awareness of the possible danger and widespread discrimination against the mentally ill for the situation.





Editorial: After tragedy, Cornell sets impressive example

Baylor University Lariat

March 24, 2010


While to some students it may seem that their university is a distant and uncaring figure, Cornell University is working to prove this stereotype wrong. After three student suicides in less than a month, with two occurring on consecutive days, Cornell has now begun to implement commendable precautionary measures to further ensure the safety of its students.



Kids, meds and mental health

March 23, 2010


… We all know what the prevailing opinion is these days on children's mental health in America: Kids with nothing truly wrong with them are being over-diagnosed and overmedicated by doctors, parents and schools, who are colluding to make them better behaved, more high-performing and more tractable to our society's unnaturally high demands. This opinion used to be mine.



Families need help on a crucial choice

Houston Chronicle

March 22, 2010


… Texas has just 294 child care facilities licensed by the NAEYC, compared with 607 in California, 419 in Florida and even 426 in a smaller state like Connecticut.  Parents in states such as Colorado and North Carolina have access not only to quality ratings of facilities (often denoted by simple stars) but can search for the ratings and other information at one-stop-shop Web sites as user friendly as Rotten Tomatoes or Yelp. The states lure participants and spur quality through incentives, such as money for training. Why can't something like this exist in Texas?



Taking baby steps to better child care

Houston Chronicle

March 15, 2010


In Texas, a manicurist is required to have more hours of training than the person caring for your child at day care. Hours required to give a manicure: 600. Hours required to care for a baby: eight. (Oh, and a high school diploma or a GED.) … The minimum child care licensing standards come up for review every six years, and the process is under way. All of us, not just parents, have a stake in the outcome.





Stopping Clinical Trials Early Often Exaggerates Treatment Effects


 March 24, 2010


An international study of nearly 100 clinical trials that were stopped early due to positive treatment effects has found that many of those effects were exaggerated.



TeleTherapy for PTSD Found Effective

Psych Central News
March 24, 2010


Distance may no longer be a barrier for obtaining psychotherapy. In fact, having a little space may improve outcomes. These findings come from new research that suggest obtaining therapy for PTSD via teleconference is just as effective as face-to-face sessions.



End-of-Life Care Planning Eases Stress for Relatives: Advance directive improves odds that wishes will be followed, study shows
HealthDay News

March 24, 2010


Planning for care at the end of life can make things easier for people as they die, while reducing stress and depression among loved ones, new research suggests. … Also, family members reported that they had significantly less stress and depression when their deceased relatives had documented their end-of-life wishes.



Prenatal testosterone disturbances linked to schizophrenia development

MedWire News (Psychiatry Res)

March 24, 2010


Researchers have found evidence to suggest the involvement of prenatal testosterone release in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.



Schizophrenia patients show delayed inhibition of return in attention

MedWire News (Psychiatry Res)

March 24, 2010


The onset of inhibition of return (IOR) is delayed in patients with schizophrenia, which could impact on their attention levels, study findings show.





NAMI Launches Social Networking Site for Young Adults: Mental Health, Finances, Relationships, Music and More

National Alliance on Mental Illness

March 23, 2010


Arlington, Va. — The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has launched, a new online community where young adults living with mental health concerns can provide mutual support in navigating unique challenges and opportunities during the critical transition years from ages 18 to 25. Developed by young adults, is a user-driven social networking community where members can connect with peers, share personal stories, creativity and helpful resources by writing and responding to blog entries, engaging in discussion groups and sharing videos, photos and other news.



NARSAD’s “Healthy Minds Across America” Brings Science To Families; Leading Mental Health Research Funder Partners with 44 Institutions to Host Free Series

National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression

March 23, 2010


Great Neck, NY -- Beginning Saturday, April 10th, thousands of families throughout the United States will have a rare opportunity to learn about new breakthroughs and emerging treatments in mental health by the nation's best and brightest mental health researchers. "Healthy Minds Across America," a series of free forums open to the public, will take place every weekend from April 10 - May 8, culminating with the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month in May.


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