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

May, 2011

82nd LEGISLATIVE SESSION

 

Budgeteers Adopt Final Report

Texas Tribune

May 26, 2011

 

Budget negotiators met briefly this morning and voted 9-1 to adopt a conference committee report that cuts the state budget over the next biennium by $15 billion, or 8 percent. The total amount of funding from taxpayers, known as general funds, is $80.4 billion. The total expenditures for all funds, including federal money, is $172.3 billion. ... The only 'no' vote on the report came from state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, who has consistently argued that the budget cuts too deeply into education and health and human services.

http://www.texastribune.org/texas-legislature/82nd-legislative-session/budgeteers-adopt-final-report/

 

 

Senate softens cuts to health-related institutions

San Antonio Express News

May 25, 2011

 

AUSTIN - Proposed cuts to health-related institutions for the next two years would be softened under a bill unanimously approved Wednesday by the Texas Senate. The overall two-year, compromise state budget proposal initially would have cut health-related institutions' formula funding by 10 percent and reduced special-item funding by 25 percent.  ...To ease those cuts, House Bill 4 would allocate more than $200 million in additional dollars to those institutions.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Senate-softens-cuts-to-health-related-institutions-1396316.php

 

 

'Kinship care' program to help families that take in foster children survives budget ax

May 25, 2011

 

AUSTIN - A 6-year-old program that helps abused foster children stay with familiar adults, instead of strangers, has survived the budget ax. The state effort, called "kinship care," will remain a tool for nudging relatives, godparents and even good neighbors to take in abused and neglected children if a budget deal struck by key lawmakers last weekend passes the House and Senate and clears Gov. Rick Perry's desk next month.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/texas-legislature/headlines/20110525-kinship-care-program-to-help-families-that-take-in-foster-children-survives-budget-ax.ece

 

 

House OKs health care compact for Texas

Austin American-Statesman

May 25, 2011

 

Using a parliamentary maneuver to rescue a Republican priority, House members Wednesday approved an amendment allowing Texas to join a multistate health care compact. The compact, which could allow member states to opt out of the federal health care law pushed by President Barack Obama, appeared doomed for most of the day when the Senate's 19 Republicans could not muster the 21 votes needed to allow debate on the bill.

http://www.statesman.com/news/texas-politics/house-oks-health-care-compact-for-texas-1498712.html

 

 

Bill restores some state funding for med school

El Paso Times

May 26, 2011

 

AUSTIN -- State funding for El Paso's medical school may not be cut as severely as its leaders had anticipated. Texas senators Wednesday night passed a bill that was amended to restore some money to the state's health sciences centers, which are set to lose millions of dollars in a proposed two-year budget.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_18142534

 

 

When the Texas Legislature gets into spanking, it's never as interesting as it should be

Texas Observer

May 25, 2011

 

... Although most school districts across the country banned paddling decades, if not centuries, ago, Texas is one of 20 states that still permits the practice. According to a 2009 report conducted by the ACLU-Human Rights Watch, Texas paddles the most students in the nation, more than 225,000 in one school year, as well as the most students with disabilities.

http://www.texasobserver.org/component/k2/item/17867-bum-rap

 

 

TEXAS NEWS

 

Judge to recommend 4 percent raises for county employees

Midland Reporter-Telegram

May 25, 2011

 

...The sheriff said the way mental health care is funded will impact their expenses. But, he said, even without drastic cuts, they are asking the county to fund three mental health deputy positions that previously were state-funded, as well as an assistant coordinator for the Crisis Intervention Unit.

http://www.mywesttexas.com/top_stories/article_a122406d-52ef-5edf-85ae-641051340b3f.html

 

 

Tomorrow's healers prepared to act with compassion

San Antonio Express-News

May 26, 2011

 

Before entering the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Robin Reister knew she wanted to serve the poor and disenfranchised. But it was during her four-year medical education that those "vague aspirations," as she describes them, took shape.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/Tomorrow-s-healers-prepared-to-act-with-compassion-1394061.php

 

 

Fort Worth Mayor Moncrief gets surprise sendoff from ex-homeless

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

May 25, 2011

 

... About 50 formerly homeless people now in stable housing were waiting to celebrate the outgoing mayor's support of Directions Home, the city's plan to end chronic homelessness. The crowd applauded the surprised Moncrief and homeless people shared stories about how their lives have improved since getting off the street, said Kai Stansberry, spokeswoman for the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/05/25/3103606/fort-worth-mayor-moncrief-gets.html

 

 

Autopsy: 8-year-old East Texas girl killed herself

Houston Chronicle

May 26, 2011

 

PALESTINE - A medical examiner has determined that the recent death of an 8-year-old East Texas girl was a suicide by hanging. Investigators had said the second-grader was found dead in a wooded area near her family's home just northwest of Palestine the night of April 17.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7581588.html

 

 

Police: 3 missing Kyle kids found

Austin American-Statesman

May 26, 2011

 

Three missing Kyle children were located in North Austin on Wednesday night, one of whom is facing kidnapping charges, officials said. ... The two children were dirty but in good health and will be returned to their mother, police said. Lee was arrested and faces two counts of kidnapping. Officials have said that Lee has a mental illness for which she was not taking medication.

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/central-texas-digest-austin-police-seek-leads-in-1498512.html

 

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

Senators tell VA to reduce veteran suicides

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

May. 25, 2011

 

WASHINGTON - With veterans now accounting for one of every five suicides in the nation, the Department of Veterans Affairs is under pressure from the courts and Congress to fix its mental health services in an attempt to curb the death toll.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/05/25/3103684/senators-tell-va-to-reduce-veteran.html

 

 

Ill. lawmakers OK tougher oversight of group homes

San Antonio Express News

May 25, 2011

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are trying to strengthen oversight of group homes for the disabled after a resident's death. Under the legislation, abuse allegations would trigger state reviews.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/Ill-lawmakers-OK-tougher-oversight-of-group-homes-1395726.php

 

 

Idaho's Jeff D. lawsuit revived

San Antonio Express News

May 26, 2011

 

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A federal appeals court on Wednesday revived a decades-old lawsuit against the state of Idaho over claims of substandard childrens' mental health care. The case began in 1980 when a little boy known only as Jeff D. brought a class-action lawsuit against the state for institutionalizing mentally ill children instead of providing care for them.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/AP-NewsBreak-Idaho-s-Jeff-D-lawsuit-revived-1395331.php

 

 

No easy fix for California's prison crisis

Los Angeles Times

May 25, 2011

 

... As state officials struggle to comply with the courts, the debate over who goes to prison is likely to spark heated exchanges in Sacramento, just as it did among members of the high court. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy noted that California sends an unusually large percentage of paroled inmates back to prison on technicalities. Testimony in the lower courts suggested the prisons are breeding grounds for more crime.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-prisons-20110525,0,6228065.story

 

 

In a California Prison, Bunk Beds Replace Pickup Games

The New York Times

May 25, 2011

 

... One major impact of the overcrowding, and a centerpiece of the Supreme Court's ruling, is the lack of adequate health care for prisoners with mental illness or other chronic medical conditions. In 2005, a federal official began overseeing California's prison health care system after a judge ruled that the state was giving substandard medical care for prisoners. Now, Mr. Cate said, roughly 90 percent of all clinical positions are filled, although that rate varies among the prisons.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/us/25prison.html?_r=1&scp=7&sq=mental&st=nyt

 

 

Former street preacher gets life in Elizabeth Smart case

El Paso Times

May 25, 2011

 

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - ...Much of the case has turned on questions over Mitchell's mental health. In federal court he was deemed competent for trial, but a parallel state case - where he remains charged with six felonies - stalled after a judge twice determined he was unfit and rejected a petition for forced treatment.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_18137345

 

 

US soldier gets 12 1/2 years in detainee death

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

May 25, 2011

 

FORT CARSON, Colo. (AP) - A U.S. soldier with mental health problems was sentenced Wednesday to 12 1/2 years in military prison after pleading guilty to premeditated murder for killing a suspected Taliban prisoner in his jail cell.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/05/25/3101534/soldier-expected-to-plead-guilty.html

 

 

Jared Loughner mentally unfit for trial, judge rules

Los Angeles Times

May 26, 2011

 

Reporting from Tucson- A federal judge ruled Jared Lee Loughner mentally incompetent to stand trial in the Jan. 8 shooting spree that gravely wounded an Arizona congresswoman after two medical experts agreed he suffered from schizophrenia and for several years has been troubled by delusions and hallucinations.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-loughner-sanity-20110526,0,5523583.story

 

 

HEALTHCARE REFORM

 

Senate Republicans stand by plan to overhaul Medicare

The Washington Post

May 26, 2011

 

Senate Republicans on Wednesday stood by a GOP plan to transform Medicare, one day after the party lost a conservative House district in Upstate New York amid a strong effort by Democrats to make that proposal the central issue.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-republicans-stand-by-plan-to-overhaul-medicare/2011/05/25/AG4LKZBH_story.html

 

 

Statement from HHS Deputy Secretary Bill Corr on retrospective review of existing rules

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

May 26, 2011

 

Earlier this year, President Obama outlined his plan to create a 21st-century regulatory system that is simpler and smarter and that protects the health and safety of the American people in a pragmatic and cost-effective way.  He called for a change in culture to incorporate ongoing review of regulations into our operations.

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/05/20110526a.html

 

 

Vermont Health Plan Advances

Wall Street Journal

May 25, 2011

 

Vermont is moving one step closer to a goal of its Democratic governor: a state-run health plan that would insure most of its 625,000 residents. The bill Gov. Peter Shumlin plans to sign on Thursday would create a panel whose goal would be to figure out how to pay for a new system intended to reduce the rate of overall health-cost increases.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303654804576343604170192980.html?KEYWORDS=medicaid

 

 

OPINIONS

 

Texas can teach other states how not to run a prison system

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

May 24, 2011

 

California should have learned a lesson from Texas in how not to operate prisons. And it's still not too late for the Golden State to learn a few things from the Lone Star State's arduous experience in fighting against doing the right thing for inmates in its custody.

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/05/24/3100863/texas-can-teach-other-states-how.html

 

 

Hope for reform of California's prison system?

Los Angeles Times

May 25, 2011

 

... Guess what, Mr. Scalia. Terrible things already did happen. That's how we got to this point. We locked up thousands of people for the principal crime of having a mental illness, which is Dark Ages terrible if you ask me.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0525-lopez-getoutofjail-20110523,0,1002589.column

 

 

RESEARCH

 

New report shows the availability of substance abuse treatment facilities offering counseling services in Asian languages varies by region

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

May 25, 2011

 

A new report shows that only 2-percent (291) of the nation's 13,513 substance abuse treatment facilities provide counseling services in various Asian languages. The report also showed that the proportion of facilities offering these services varied by geographic region.

http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/1105252206.aspx

 

 

Should we drug the drinking water? Adding lithium to the taps 'could lower suicide rates'

Daily Mail (UK)

May 25, 2011

 

Lithium has been heralded by some experts as the next potential flouride, after scientists found suicide rates were lower in areas where the drinking water had higher concentrations of the element. Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna compared the suicide rates in different regions of Austria with the natural lithium concentrations in the drinking water.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1390732/Adding-Lithium-drinking-water-lower-suicide-rates.html

 

 

New Tool Aims To Improve Measurement Of Primary Care Depression Outcomes

Medical News Today

May 26, 2011

 

Primary care doctors have long been on the front lines of depression treatment. Depression is listed as a diagnosis for 1 in 10 office visits and primary care doctors prescribe more than half of all antidepressants.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/226494.php

 

 

New Clues On How To Treat Diseases Such As Depression And Schizophrenia

Medical News Today

May 26, 2011

 

Regret has long been viewed as an exclusively human thought, one which helps prevent us from repeating bad choices but becomes debilitating when it triggers obsessive thoughts about past actions.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/226530.php

 

 

History of violence, IQ linked to suicide risk in schizophrenic men

Med Wire News

May 26, 2011

 

Study results suggest that men with schizophrenia who have a previous history of violent offending are at increased risk for suicide, while those with a low IQ are at reduced risk.

http://www.medwire-news.md/47/92400/Psychiatry/History_of_violence,_IQ_linked_to_suicide_risk_in_schizophrenic_men.html

 

 

FEATURES & RESOURCES

 

NAMI E-Advocate

National Alliance on Mental Illness

May 2011

 

In this issue:

  • Providing Knowledge and Support, Family Doctors are Key for Families Living with Mental Illness
  • Providing Help for All Communities, No Matter How Small
  • Securing Your Ticket to Independence: How the SSA Can Help You Find Employment
  • NAMI Bookshelf

http://www.nami.org/ADVTemplate.cfm?Section=Advocate_Magazine&template=/contentmanagement/contentdisplay.cfm&ContentID=121447&title=NAMI%20Advocate%20e-Newsletter%3A%20May%202011



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