Mental Health

Turn It Off Today Outreach Toolkit - 11/24/2021

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


Making the Right Call: CPAN Helps Physicians Improve Behavioral Health - 11/24/2021

IN THE 19 MONTHS since the Texas Child Psychiatry Access Network (CPAN) has been up and running, it’s kept any number of minor problems from becoming major ones.


Help Families Manage Screen Time – and Mental Health – With TMA’s “Turn It Off Today” Campaign - 11/23/2021

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.


Telemedicine’s Tipping Point: Pandemic Exposed Longstanding Coverage Issues - 11/01/2021

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


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.


Physicians Testify on COVID-19 Impact on Children’s Physical and Mental Health - 09/27/2021

Children and adolescents face myriad physical and mental health risks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to physicians and other health experts who testified before a U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee last week.


HHSC Expands Mental Health Services for Patients Facing Court - 07/08/2021

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received a $1 million federal grant to help defendants in mostly rural areas who have been found incompetent to stand trial because of mental illness, HHSC announced in a release.


Help Kids Manage COVID-19-Related Stresses With This New TMA Resource - 05/04/2021

Texas physicians created a new tool to help parents support their children whose behavioral health is suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s upheaval.


Proposed Mental Health Payment Parity Rules Could Restrict Treatments, TMA Tells TDI - 04/15/2021

Proposed rules that would require insurers to cover mental health and substance use disorders at the same rate as other medical procedures could actually exclude or restrict all benefits for certain treatments.


Staff Holiday Party on Hold? Consider Other Morale-Boosting Options - 11/24/2020

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 anything but normal. So, instead of hosting an in-person get-together, what can you do to lift your staff’s spirits to thank them for their hard work this year?


Pandemic Pressures:COVID-19 Poses Serious Behavioral Health Challenges - 10/30/2020

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.


When Mental Health Goes to College – Webinar Available Now - 06/04/2020

To help you understand the developmental tasks, social considerations, biological changes, and systems of care specific to college students, tune in to the Texas Medical Association’s new webinar When Mental Health Goes to College.


Grants Will Help Texans at Risk for Suicide - 12/04/2019

Just by answering more hotline calls, Texas will be able to improve care for people struggling with thoughts of suicide thanks to a two-year, $3 million grant from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s State Capacity Building Initiative.


Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitalization in Texas 1999 to 2010 - 09/03/2019

The primary purpose of the study was to examine the role public sector payers (Medicare and Medicaid) and providers (Texas state mental health hospitals) play in psychiatric hospitalization, using Texas annual hospital discharge files from 1999 to 2010. Psychiatric hospitalization, as defined by a primary behavioral health diagnosis (ICD-9 diagnoses 290-314.99) averaged 146,876 discharges per year, approximately 5.24% of all hospitalizations in the state. Children younger than 18 years accounted for 27,035 discharges per year. The top 4 diagnostic groups were depression (29%), bipolar disorder (22%), schizophrenia (18%), and alcohol-drug disorders (14%). More patients with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders were served by the public sector, while more patients with depression or alcohol-drug disorders were served by private insurance. Interestingly, patients with bipolar disorder were distributed relatively evenly across both payment groups and ages. Length of stay decreased fr...


Texans Not Afraid to Look Up Mental Health Concerns Online - 08/22/2019

Although you as a physician might not spend a lot of time consulting Dr. Google, many of your patients do. So it’s a good idea to know what people are most worried about. Turns out, “phobia” is the most-Googled mental health concern in Texas.


Legislative Top 10: Improving Mental Health Care Squeaks into Law - 06/11/2019

Political maneuvering late in the Texas Legislative session saved efforts to improve the effectiveness of and access to behavioral health care in Texas. Today’s TMA Legislative News Hotline video looks at the moves to save Senate Bill 10, which will provide community-level health treatment programs, and mental health research.


Get Rewarded For Your Practice’s Behavioral Health Models - 05/07/2019

Have you integrated mental or behavioral health care into your practice? Is your practice’s model simple, innovative, and easy for a variety of primary care practices to copy and use for themselves? Are you interested in winning $10,000 for work you’ve already done? If the answer to all of those questions was yes, consider entering the Texas Academy of Family Physicians’ Behavioral Health Integration Innovators Competition.


Integrating Mental and Physical Health - 05/07/2019

Physicians strongly support a greater statewide focus on academic mental health and substance use research, and recognize the promise of new research opportunities presented through HB 10 and the institute. We are pleased to see HB 10 calls for a statewide research framework focused on preventing, identifying, and treating many serious and costly conditions, including depression, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorders.


“Conversion Therapy” Is Not Evidence-Based Care - 05/02/2019

The care for each of our minor patients must be built in an environment that supports an open, safe, and confidential patient-physician relationship – but also upon evidence-based care that supports the child’s development. We believe House Bill 517 sets a clear standard that families must be aware that practices to change sexual orientation that are not evidence-based can be harmful. We encourage your support for this important legislation.


The Texas Mental Health Care Consortium Will Benefit Texas Children - 05/02/2019

Senate Bill 10 establishes a Texas Mental Health Care Consortium among health-related institutions of higher education and the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council to enhance collaboration and alignment between these institutions and improve effectiveness of and access to behavioral health care.


Improving Children’s Access to Mental Health Care - 04/30/2019

Senate Bill 10 establishes a Texas Mental Health Care Consortium among health-related institutions of higher education and the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council. Its purpose is to enhance collaboration and alignment between these institutions and improve effectiveness of and access to behavioral health care. As a Texas physician, I can speak to our overall behavioral health workforce challenges, and as a Texas pediatrician, I can speak to the particular challenge of connecting children with mental health supports.


Legislative Hotline: Senate All Ayes on Children’s Mental Health Bill - 03/07/2019

With a unified voice and a unanimous vote, the Senate passed a bill this week designed to identify children with mental-health needs and direct them to appropriate, timely treatment.