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Hogg Foundation News Clips
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

April, 2010

Today’s Clips – April 20, 2010


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.


To subscribe to this service or to change your subscription, please contact Media sites may require a one-time free registration and academic and science journal sites may require a paid subscription to access articles.




Funding Alert Vol. 21 No. 4 Alert # 2

Texas Department of State Health Services

April 13, 2010


The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health is requesting proposals for the Hogg Mental Health Policy Fellows project. The goal of this project is to fund up to five Texas-based nonprofit organizations to employ mental health policy fellows. The foundation hopes to build the capacity of individuals and organizations with the skill and resources needed to participate effectively in mental health policy in Texas.





The Ditch: Tax Our Way Out?

Texas Tribune

April 20, 2010


State lawmakers are looking at several options to cover a $10 billion-plus biennial shortfall. One way is to raise more money — but that's never simple in tax-averse Texas. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune filed this second part of his week-long series on the budget.



State Abuse: Despite reforms, abuse in state institutions remains high

Texas Observer

April 19, 2010


Despite reforms by state lawmakers, abuse and neglect of Texans with mental retardation in state-run institutions has increased the past three years, according to an Observer analysis of state data. Reforms enacted in response to a high-profile abuse scandal have left the facilities with fewer residents and more staff, yet confirmed allegations of abuse rose 57 percent between 2007 and 2009. However, the number of abuse cases has dropped slightly so far in 2010, indicating that perhaps the latest reforms are having some effect.



The Old Community College Try

Texas Tribune

April 20, 2010


At the Texas Capitol today, lawmakers will begin to look at how the state’s community college system fits into the overall picture of higher education. The House Higher Education Committee will review ways to increase the role of community colleges — not only in getting kids to stay in school but in graduating them more quickly and efficiently.



Harris County jail open to all comers again

Houston Chronicle

April 19, 2010


… The sheriff has asked Commissioners Court to consider funding a new $256 million booking center that could handle 1,000 inmates at a time and provide 1,200 beds for the mentally ill and other special inmate populations. Harris County voters rejected a ballot proposition to fund such a facility in 2007. Bernstein said Garcia and Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland have revived the 2007 blueprint, with officials on both sides meeting last week to discuss design changes, such as a diversion area for the mentally ill.



ATCIC Launches to Meet Local Community Needs for Spanish Speakers

Austin Travis County Integral Care

April 19, 2010


Austin —Austin Travis County Integral Care (ATCIC) has launched a Spanish-language website to provide culturally and linguistically relevant resources on behavioral health and developmental disabilities to the local Hispanic community. This is part of a larger effort guided by ATCIC’s current strategic plan, to develop, implement and ensure appropriate practices and attitudes that communicate effectively for each culture’s unique needs. Spanish speaking individuals can now find in-depth and timely information about ATCIC’s services, events, reports, providers and system changes.


Link to Spanish language Web site:



Man who planned shooting at school sentenced

San Antonio Express-News

April 17, 2010


A former Harlandale High student who planned to carry out an attack at the school was sentenced Friday to more than two years of confinement, banned from schools for another three and ordered to get mental health treatment.





Insurers act on part of health law early

USA Today

April 20, 2010


Thousands of college students scheduled to lose their parents' health coverage when they graduate this spring got a reprieve Monday from several major insurance companies. UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Kaiser Permanente and WellPoint said they will put into effect some provisions of the new health care law ahead of schedule to let adult children stay on parents' plans until age 26.



White House Officially Names Berwick As Pick To Head CMS

Kaiser Health News

April 19, 2010


News organizations are reporting on President Barack Obama's official nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).



Rethinking Substance Use Disorders

Grantmakers In Health

April 19, 2010


In the United States, almost 1 in 10 individuals over age 12 has a problem with alcohol or drugs, making substance use disorders one of the most damaging and expensive health problems facing our country today. Yet many of the specific issues surrounding substance use remain largely under the radar because of both their controversial nature and the highly marginalized and vulnerable populations they often affect. Of the many negative outcomes of substance use disorders, addiction is one of the most complex. Once viewed as simply a criminal behavior or a bad choice, addiction is now known to be influenced by biological, social, and environmental determinants – the same factors that form the basis of many other chronic illnesses. Research has also found that substance use disorders are treatable on a level comparable to some of these illnesses such as asthma and diabetes.



Intervening Early to Address Children’s Health Disparities

Grantmakers In Health

April 19, 2010


In the United States, children of color and those in low-income families continue to lag behind white and affluent

children on nearly every health indicator. In addition, many of these indicators and conditions, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and asthma, can have long-term influences on children’s healthy development and




Hospital chiefs nervous about consequences from health reform; Much remains unknown about how things will play out, executives say

Kansas Health Institute

April 20, 2010


TOPEKA — Earlier this month, Tom Bell spent two weeks visiting with hospital administrators across the state, listening to their concerns about health reform. “If I had to sum everything up in one word, it would be ‘anxious,’” said Bell, executive director at the Kansas Hospital Association.



Legislators fight mental health cuts

Roanoke Times (Virginia)

April 19, 2010


RICHMOND -- Some mental health advocates are urging Virginia lawmakers to reject two budget amendments from Gov. Bob McDonnell, arguing that they could restrict access to psychiatric drugs and further strain underfunded community-based mental health services.



Mental health overhaul in line for another retooling

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

April 19, 2010


…Now the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) wants to overhaul the system again. Officials want to change the mission of the mini-hospitals, cut $17 million from the program's budget and provide more effective care for some of the more than 100,000 Minnesotans who have serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression.





New mental health court begins work

ABC News

April 19, 2010


A new court begins work in Melbourne this week, to cater specifically for those with a mental illness. It is a three-year pilot program funded by the State Government to try and break the cycle of criminal behaviour.





Opinion: Cultural Competence is an Ongoing Learning Process

April 19, 2010


I work in an industrial setting where a large part of the workforce is Hispanic. A comprehensive understanding of the concept of cultural competence is fundamental to adequate healthcare within this population. As a Latino, fully bilingual RN practicing in the U.S., I consider myself particularly competent for my job. Yet, as an Argentine-American RN, I recently became keenly aware that I am immersed and understanding of only Argentinean and American cultures, and not of all Latin American cultures. Latin America covers a large geographic portion of the world, and there can be significant cultural, religious and language differences among people from Latin America.



Board of directors service must be hands-on

Austin American-Statesman

April 20, 2010


Both involve tragedies. One ended 29 lives. The other ended valuable services that affected the lives of 32,000 people a year. At first blush, it might be difficult to link an April 5 West Virginia coal mine disaster and last week's shutdown of Family Connections, an Austin nonprofit that had a positive effect on thousands of young children and their parents. … we hope that what went on at Family Connections will serve as a cautionary tale for well-intentioned Austinites who serve on the boards of nonprofits that are so important to our community.





Biological Link Between Stress, Anxiety and Depression Identified

ScienceDaily (Neuroscience)

April19, 2010


Scientists at The University of Western Ontario have discovered the biological link between stress, anxiety and depression. By identifying the connecting mechanism in the brain, this high impact research led by Stephen Ferguson of Robarts Research Institute shows exactly how stress and anxiety could lead to depression. The study also reveals a small molecule inhibitor developed by Ferguson, which may provide a new and better way to treat anxiety, depression and other related disorders.



Rare Gene Variants Linked to High Risk of Broad Range of Seizure Disorders


April 15, 2010


Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have uncovered evidence suggesting that people missing large chunks of DNA on chromosome 16 are much more likely than others to develop a chronic seizure disorder during their lifetime.



Mother-Infant Psychoanalysis May Create a Beneficial Circle in the Event of Poor Bonding


 April 19, 2010


Even when a baby has been longed for, some mothers might have trouble bonding with their baby, who in turn may develop disturbed behaviour, such as crying, poor sleeping patterns and breast refusal. A new thesis to be published at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet shows that in such cases, the joint psychoanalytic treatment of mother and infant may be effective, particularly if the mother feels that she is unconsciously contributing to the problems.



Flax oil has limited efficacy in pediatric bipolar disorder

MedWire News (Bipolar Disord)

April 20, 2010


Flax oil supplementation for children and adolescents with bipolar disorder achieves only marginal improvement in symptom severity, study results show. Only patients with the highest serum levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which required 10–12 flax oil capsules a day, showed improvements, making the treatment prohibitive for most children, say the researchers.



Therapy Can Help Even Very Distressed Married Couples, Largest Study Finds


April19, 2010


The largest, most comprehensive clinical trial of couple therapy ever conducted has found that therapy can help even very distressed married couples if both partners want to improve their marriage. The study also involved the longest and most comprehensive follow-up assessment of couple therapy ever conducted.



Suicidality in schizophrenia linked to insight, depression

MedWire News (Acta Psychiatr Scand)

April 20, 2010


Schizophrenia patients who are suicidal upon admission to hospital show elevated depression, negative symptoms, and insight compared with their non-suicidal peers, study results show.,_depression.html



Is ECG Needed To Monitor ADHD Meds?

Psych Central News
April 19, 2010


Should children who are receiving stimulant medication for a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) receive an electrocardiogram (ECG)? The question is gaining significance for both physicians and parents as the number of children on medications increase.



Volunteering promotes physical, mental health – poll


April 19, 2010


Volunteers, whose numbers have grown to 63 million in the United States, help to strengthen communities and to improve health -- their own. About 84 percent of people questioned in a survey agreed that volunteering improves physical health, and 95 percent said it may also have emotional benefits, according to a poll of more than 4,500 Americans released by United Healthcare and VolunteerMatch, a national nonprofit group.



Side Effects From Depression Meds Go Undocumented

Psych Central News
April 20, 2010


According to a new study from a Rhode Island hospital, patients report side effects from medication for the treatment of depression 20 times more than psychiatrists have recorded in the charts. The researchers recommend the use of a self-administered patient questionnaire in clinical practice to improve the recognition of side effects for patients in treatment.





Teen Bullying Can Be Red Flag for Depression

ABC News

April 19, 2010


The word "bully" may conjure up images of a 9-year-old punk shaking down a 7-year-old for lunch money. But teenagers experience bullying too, and research shows it can be a red flag for depression and suicidal behavior.

That's true whether teens are doing the bullying, or are victims of it.



Dallas Children's Theater president shares her fight against depression and suicide

Dallas Morning News

April 19, 2010


By all accounts, Julie Hersh had the ideal life: loving husband, two kids, a large house, lots of friends and plenty of money. Yet, in spite of the picture-perfect life, she was fighting debilitating depression that led her to try to kill herself three times.  … She has written about her experience in a book she just published with Dallas' Brown Books called Struck by Living: From Depression to Hope. Her hope is that it will encourage others who are battling depression to seek help.



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