Mental Health

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.


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.