mental health | Texas Public Radio

mental health

Source: NAMI

AUSTIN — The Texas House has preliminarily approved a proposal offering to help repay student loans for psychiatrists who provide care in underserved parts of the state.

Passed Thursday 89-52, the bill provides help repaying student loans for medical personnel who work in “designated mental health professional shortage areas.”

Those qualifying would also have to treat Medicaid patients, low-income children or people confined to some state-run correctional facilities. The Senate passed the bill last month. It now needs only a final House vote to be sent to Gov. Greg Abbott to be signed into law.

According to a recent state report, fewer than 2,000 licensed psychiatrists were offering direct care in Texas as of September 2013.


HOUSTON — A grand jury has indicted two Harris County sergeants who are accused of leaving a mentally ill inmate unattended in his cell for weeks.

The Houston Chronicle reports Ricky D. Pickens-Wilson and John Figaroa were charged Tuesday and face up to 10 years in prison on allegations they left Terry Goodwin unattended in his jail cell. They are also charged with tampering with a governmental record for signing off on paperwork stating that Goodwin was in good condition.

A sheriff's office compliance team says Goodwin was found in his cell with insect-infested food containers, a feces-clogged toilet and ropes from his shredded jail uniform hanging from the ceiling. A whistleblower had tipped the team to the situation last fall. Investigators were not able to determine exactly how long Goodwin had been in the cell.

Getting Mental Health Help In High School

Mar 9, 2015

It used to be that students went to their school nurse to have their sore throat checked, or to get a vaccine.

But many kids have needs that go beyond physical health, whether it’s dealing with exposure to violence, or having suicidal thoughts.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Ruby de Luna reports that a growing number of schools in Seattle have started offering mental health services in response.

For Whitney Bischoff, high school was tough. On the first day of her freshman year, a childhood friend committed suicide. Things weren't any better at home — her father died when she was 7 and her mom was an alcoholic with an abusive boyfriend.

She had a hard time making friends.

And when all the stress threatened to overwhelm her, she, too, considered suicide.

"I thought family was everything," Bischoff says. "I thought, if I didn't have family support – what am I going to do? Suicide seemed like the only way out."

Appeals Court Halts Texas Execution

Dec 3, 2014

A federal appeals court has halted the scheduled execution of a Texas prisoner whose attorneys say is too delusional to be put to death.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a reprieve late Wednesday morning, less than eight hours before condemned killer Scott Panetti was set to receive a lethal injection.

Panetti was sentenced to death for fatally shooting his estranged wife’s parents 22 years ago.

Panetti’s lawyers are he’s too mentally ill to qualify for capital punishment, and they sought a delay for new competency tests.

A federal appeals court has halted the execution of Scott Panetti, a Texas prisoner convicted in the 1992 murder of his in-laws.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a reprieve just hours before the 56-year-old inmate was scheduled to be killed via lethal injection. The court said it needed more time to "consider the late arriving and complex legal questions at issue in this matter."

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The legal process is scheduled to end in Texas today for Scott Panetti. He's a convicted killer set for execution. He's drawn worldwide attention because he has a 36-year history of chronic schizophrenia. From Dallas, NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports.

Scott Panetti thinks Satan will kill him on Dec. 3, and he’s partly right. He’s scheduled to be executed that day by the state of Texas.

Love, respect, integration into communities, work, housing, food and clean water: That's what mentally ill people, like all human beings, need. Instead, in many parts of the developing world, people with mental illness are chained, nearly starved and even locked in a cage with a wild animal like a hyena to scare the demons out of them.

Depression is common in teenagers, with 11 percent being diagnosed by age 18, and many more having depressive symptoms. Social and academic stress can trigger depression, and rates of depression tend to peak in adolescence around the age of 16.

It doesn't help that stressed-out teens often fall into hopelessness, says David Yeager, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. "When kids have hard things happen to them, they think it'll be like that way into the future."