Mental Health

Evidence-Based Strategies Key to Fighting Texas Suicide Rates - 11/29/2022

As 34.2% of adults in Texas report symptoms of anxiety and depression, Texas physicians are calling for the support and expansion of evidence-based strategies and telemedicine services to bolster mental health care across the state.


Physicians Serve as Lead Clinicians to Support Mental Health Intervention - 11/17/2022

The impact of adverse childhood events (ACEs) can be lasting and costly on patient health and medical outcomes. In the United States, more than 20% of adults report experiencing three ACEs during their youth, potentially increasing the risk of negative, chronic health consequences and challenges such as alcoholism, depression, unemployment, heart disease and substance abuse, among many others.


Behavioral Health, Suicide Prevention the Focus of TMA’s Next Distinguished Speaker Series - 11/15/2022

Join experts on Nov. 17 from noon to 1 pm to learn how to improve the behavioral health care systems that strengthen Texas communities and reduce suicide risk at the next Distinguished Speaker Series hosted by the Texas Medical Association and Texas Public Health Coalition (TPHC).


Suicide Risk in Kids With Adverse Childhood Experiences Exacerbated by Pandemic - 11/11/2022

Suicide and suicidal thoughts among high school students who have accumulated adverse childhood experiences became a concern among health care professionals before 2020. But the “social and educational disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated concerns about adolescents’ mental health and suicidal behavior,” according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Mental Telehealth Paves the Way: Pandemic Flexibilities Expand Access to Care - 11/01/2022

Texas physicians say pandemic-era behavioral telehealth regulatory changes have already proven beneficial – and could be maximized with additional policy reforms, like payment parity for all telehealth visits; in the meantime, the gains of the past few years have forged a path toward future telehealth expansion beyond behavioral health.


Screen Young People Aged 8-18 for Anxiety, USPSTF Recommends - 10/25/2022

The recent recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that children and adolescents aged 8 to 18 years be screened for anxiety is likely to trigger family conversations about the topic and in turn, spur long-overdue treatment.


Pandemic Pressures:COVID-19 Poses Serious Behavioral Health Challenges - 09/20/2022

The mental health fallout caused by COVID-19 radiates throughout Texas. In this issue, we look at four of the biggest challenges physicians are responding to as more people say that worry and stress related to coronavirus have negatively impacted their mental health.


National Suicide Hotline Changes to Simpler “988” Format - 07/15/2022

People coping with suicidal thoughts can now call 988, the new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.


Senate Evaluates Post-Pandemic Strategies on Mental Health - 07/01/2022

In the face of “grim” research around the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on mental health, the Texas Medical Association is telling state lawmakers to respond with robust regulatory support of telehealth and investments to improve all Texans’ access to care.


State Transferring Millions for School Safety, Mental Health Programs After Uvalde Shooting - 07/01/2022

Quickly following a series of legislative hearings to address the Uvalde shooting, Texas leaders have announced the transfer of more than $105.5 million within the state budget to fund a series of school safety and mental health programs through August 2023.


Post-Uvalde, TMA Urges State Support for Mental Health Care and Child Interventions - 06/24/2022

As state lawmakers chart a path forward after the Robb Elementary school shooting in Uvalde last month, the Texas Medical Association is offering stories of hope that illustrate promising potential solutions: investments in mental health systems that can intervene before a troubled youth becomes a perpetrator of gun violence.


State Leaders Issue Proposals for School Safety, Mental Health Funding - 06/21/2022

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) called on state leaders to spend nearly $180 million on mental health and school safety programs in a series of proposals following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last month.


Funds for Health Care Workforce Resiliency Awarded to Texas Facilities - 04/05/2022

Four Texas institutions will collectively receive more than $8 million through a federal Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Training Program, funded through the 2021 COVID-19 relief bill.


TMA to Feds: Improve Care Environment to Reduce Burnout - 04/05/2022

Federal authorities are looking for input on how to prevent stress and burnout among health care workers. The Texas Medical Association is answering the call – supporting a robust attack on the root causes of that stress while letting health authorities know Texas physicians “are exhausted and are suffering from moral injury.”


Study: Child Anxiety, Depression Rose Before and During Pandemic - 03/22/2022

Between 2016 and 2020, diagnoses of both anxiety and depression in children went up significantly, according to a study from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,  and child behavioral problems continued to increase once the COVID-19 pandemic began.


Surgeon General: Mental Health of Young People Suffering Due to COVID-19 - 03/10/2022

COVID-19 took a population of young Americans already reeling from a variety of mental health challenges and “exacerbated the unprecedented stresses young people already faced,” according to a public advisory issued by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD.


Telemedicine’s Tipping Point: Pandemic Exposed Longstanding Coverage Issues - 01/20/2022

Dr. Atkisson found that telemedicine addressed one of the most pressing issues facing her profession: a dire shortage of psychiatrists that predates the pandemic.


“Turn It Off” to Help Mental Health, Physicians Suggest - 01/14/2022

Physicians are concerned about more people suffering mental and behavioral health problems, especially as the pandemic lags on. Doctors see connections between people’s suffering and overuse of electronic devices, especially among young people who seem addicted to their phones and other screens. To combat these issues, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) is launching a new initiative, Turn It Off Today, to encourage families to pledge to take a break from electronic devices.


Take a Break from Electronic Devices During Holidays, Physicians Suggest - 12/14/2021

As families spend time with loved ones this holiday season, physicians say immersing oneself in electronic devices like phones and laptops can stand in the way of creating bonds and feeling connected. To combat this, Texas doctors recommend everyone “turn it off.” TMA launched a new initiative, Turn It Off Today, to encourage families to pledge to take a break from electronic devices.


Turn It Off Today Toolkit - 11/30/2021

TMA invites Texas families to pledge to Turn It Off Today, and take break from electronic devices. 


Help Families Manage Screen Time – and Mental Health – With TMA’s “Turn It Off Today” Campaign - 11/29/2021

When a disturbing mental health trend emerged in the Lubbock emergency room (ER) where Eman Attaya, MD, works, it sparked the Texas Medical Association’s newest educational program to help families better control how much their kids interact with electronic devices: Turn It Off Today.


State Plan Tackles Mental Health Coverage - 11/09/2021

Four years after the Texas Legislature passed legislation aimed to improve health plan coverage of mental health conditions and substance use disorders, a state workgroup has released a strategic plan to improve compliance with the law’s protections to put coverage of those treatments on par with other types of health care.


Caring for Generation COVID: Pandemic Takes Increasing Toll on Kids' Mental Health - 11/03/2021

In addition to the devastating COVID-19 surge fueled by the delta variant, pediatricians like Valerie Smith, MD, and other specialists caring for children point to a shadow pandemic among young patients. The proportion of mental health-related visits for children is on the rise.


Pediatric Groups Declare “Emergency” in Child Mental Health Care - 11/02/2021

COVID-19’s psychological toll has been particularly heavy on children and adolescents. That prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association to declare a “national state of emergency” in children’s mental health.


So Much Uncertainty: Struggle to Renew Medicaid 1115 Waiver Endangers Behavioral Health Care for Low-Income - 10/31/2021

Uncertainty over the waiver’s future has thrown confusion into many of the state’s biggest behavioral health efforts.