Mental Health | KERA News

Mental Health

In 2013, shortly after the Newtown shootings, KERA launched a project called "Erasing the Stigma" with the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas mayor's office. It was the beginning of a years-long focus on mental health, which continues today. The coverage stretches from Sam Baker's weekly series Vital Signs to Lauren Silverman's "Breakthroughs" coverage of the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth's efforts to lure mental health providers to rural clinics, to a Friday Conversation with Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk shortly after her return from hospitalization for depression. 

KERA's mental health coverage is funded in part by the Hersh Foundation.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Hundreds of mental health specialists from across the state are gathered today in Downtown Dallas for the 28th Annual Texas Council of Mental Health Centers Conference.

Courtesy of Cindy Johnson

One of the toughest things about dealing with depression can be finding the right medication. It can take months, even years. As part of KERA’s Breakthroughs project, here’s a look at one woman’s struggle and the North Texas doctor who hopes to make the medication matching process less like trial and error.

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May 12th through May 18th is National Women’s Health Week. And it’s a good time to clarify how the Affordable Care Act impacts women.

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For years, sheriffs and disability rights groups have complained about the lack of treatment for the growing number of mentally ill inmates in Texas. Now, state legislators are considering a bill that would allow private companies to offer mental health services to inmates.

Texas spent $38.99 per capita on mental health care, making it 49th in the country for 2012. The Texas Tribune's Brandi Grissom says the dearth of spending on mental health resources has converted jails, emergency rooms and homeless shelters into "de facto asylums." Today she kicks off a series, called “Trouble in Mind,” about mental health in Texas’ criminal justice system. And tonight, KERA airs “Erasing the Stigma: Mental Illness and the Search for Solutions.” The public forum was presented by KERA, The Dallas Morning News and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and will air at 7 pm on KERA-Channel 13.

Gun Control: What Are You Willing To Give Up?

Feb 12, 2013

Recent mass shootings have brought calls for new gun laws and other efforts to curb violence.  Commentator Chris Tucker says that one defining aspect of American culture will make such changes very difficult.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

  The battle to help mentally ill people is personal for one state legislator.  Representative Garnet Coleman, a Houston Democrat, has bipolar disorder.

This week he participated in a mental health forum, Erasing the Stigma, which was sponsored by KERA, The Dallas Morning News, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Then Rep. Coleman sat down to share his story.

BJ Austin, KERA

Experts on mental illness did some myth-busting at last night’s public forum at the Dallas Performance Hall. The panelists were part of the discussion “Erasing the Stigma: Mental Illness and the Search for Solutions. 

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Why is there still such a stigma about mental illness? How can the community work together to better identify and help young adults struggling with it?

That's the topic of the public forum "Erasing The Stigma: Mental Illness and the Search for Solutions."

Take a look back at our live blog. Audio will be available on KERA News soon; look for video later in the week. And KERA-Channel 13 will air an edited version of the forum on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.

5 Key Questions About Mental Illness

Feb 5, 2013
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Two months ago, the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., shined a spotlight on two crucial issues: guns and mental health. Nationally, much of the attention has focused on gun laws and President Obama's call to strengthen them. But today, North Texas is focused on mental health -- and how to deal with mental illness. 

BJ Austin, KERA

Juan Martinez is a popular waiter at a busy restaurant. He's a friendly, professional and dependable. But the 34-year-old is living a different life from a few years ago, when bipolar disorder had him in a tailspin.

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Seeing or hearing things that aren’t actually there? Up to ten percent of the general population is, and they aren't all mentally ill, says Dr. Oliver Sacks. He’s a professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine and author of the new book Hallucinations. Think host Krys Boyd explores the nuance of this widely recognized symptom of psychiatric disorders with Sacks today at 1 p.m.

Homeless Count Could Bring Funding To Tarrant County

Jan 25, 2013
Janine Khammash

Advocates in Tarrant County believe the homeless population may have decreased about two percent over the past two years.

Information they collected Thursday during the biennial count of homeless people could confirm that.

Some 550 volunteers canvassed alleys, vacant lots and parks asking homeless individuals a series of questions about employment, housing and healthcare.

Cindy Crain, Executive Director of the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition says the census is necessary to receive federal funding. 

Depression: A Glimpse Inside

Jan 15, 2013

Most of us are reluctant to acknowledge personal issues regarding mental health, but commentator Rawlins Gilliland believes denial is a grave concern.

BJ Austin, KERA

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings wants to change a culture of violence in the city. The mayor says he’s been wrestling with how to do that after last month's school shootings in Connecticut school shootings after last year's jump in domestic violence murders in Dallas. Step one: A Feb. 5 symposium on mental health co-sponsored by KERA and The Dallas Morning News.

BJ Austin / KERA News

A group of Dallas County leaders is calling on state lawmakers to spend more money on mental health. The call comes after years of budget cuts and the Sandy Hook school shooting.

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Mental health care has become a topic of discussion after last week’s school shootings. Two North Texans working in the field are calling for a new attitude and more money.

Paul Huljich had it all. His organic foods business brought him wealth and luxury. But he lost it all after a nervous breakdown and a bipolar diagnosis.

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