Mayor Turner, city council approves funding for 3 mental health initiatives
Mayor Sylvester Turner and the city council passed three ordinances on Wednesday that will allocate the city of Houston American Rescue Act Plan (ARPA) funding into behavioral health programs that are intended to assist the Houston Police Department when handling mental health crisis calls.
New, state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital in Texas Medical Center will change lives, experts say
The new facility accommodates multiple patient populations and levels of treatment with access to medication management, group, and individual therapy, educational and life skills training and much more.
How to cope with depression after COVID-19 diagnosis
The pandemic has created a mental health crisis. There’s been a surge in the need for therapy sessions. And now that more people are facing a diagnosis for the first time, it’s sparking a feeling of defeat that psychologists are noticing among specific groups who catch COVID.
How to manage your mental health over the holidays
The holiday season typically goes hand in hand with parties and celebrations. For many people, those are just some of the elements that make Christmas time so fun. But this is also a critically important time to prioritize and manage your mental health, said Andrea Taylor, a PhD and psychologist with UT Physicians.
Commissioners Garcia, Ellis, Harris Center for Mental Health unveil new community-initiated mental health care project
Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Wayne Young of the Harris Center for Mental Health unveiled a community-based mental health care initiative coming to Harris County residents in targeted areas Tuesday.
Houston boxer Ginny Fuchs on her Olympic experience and Oprah Winfrey’s docuseries ‘The Me You Can’t See’
She’s not only a fierce boxer who fought her way to the Tokyo Olympics, but she’s also a mental health advocate who recently shared her struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder on the Apple TV+ documentary series “The Me You Can’t See.”
Normalizing mental health: ‘I know there’s this whole, ‘Well, pick yourself up by your bootstraps’ mentality, but it’s very old school’
The smile on full display from Simone Biles said it all: The U.S. superstar stuck the landing on her balance beam routine, her face lit up, and all at once, she embodied pure joy, a seventh Olympic medal, and likely some relief, having the weight of the world off her back, at least for a few minutes.
Normalizing mental health: ‘If Simone Biles got coronavirus, this would be a completely different talk’
Therapy gave Danielle Gomez the tools she needed to navigate a particularly hard chapter in her life, after both of her parents were diagnosed with cancer within six months of one another; she suffered a miscarriage; and then got pregnant again.
Strug pushed through, Simone stood firm -- why is there any debate as to which is more heroic?
Even if you haven’t been watching the Olympic Games like a hawk, you’ve likely heard the biggest news of the week: Gymnast Simone Biles, who is widely regarded as the greatest of all time, withdrew from the women’s team contest after her first rotation on the vault Tuesday, and then pulled out from the individual all-around competition the following day.
Is it worth the risk? Simone Biles and the very serious problem with the ‘twisties’
So many are shocked and asking how Simone Biles, the greatest gymnast of all time, could make it to the world stage, as she has on so many occasions in recent years, and all of a sudden have a mental block that prevents her from taking the gold medals so many of us wanted to see her earn here in Tokyo. Some are questioning if she truly is the G.O.A.T. if she is unable to just “suck it up” and “act” like the greatest. You know, “step-up” like a real champ. What is happening with Simone, in my opinion, has no bearing on her status as the greatest gymnast of all time. Her record verifies that fact-- no need to argue. What she reportedly is dealing with is very real and is not something that can be readily controlled, if at all.
‘She can be a role model’: Psychologist, former Olympian weighs in on mental pressures of professional athletes following Simone Biles’ withdraw from Olympics
In a sport where physical injuries are well understood, Simone Biles may have just opened the door to better understanding the extreme mental pressure professional athletes feel and she’s at a level where she can call it quits and still be respected, according to University St. Thomas Director of Applied Sport and Performance Psychology Lennie Waite.
Texas HHSC to receive more than $210M for mental health, substance use disorder services
Gov. Abbott announced Wednesday that Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is receiving more than $210 million in federal emergency grants for mental health and substance use disorder services to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘I was in such good health.’ From the top of her game to a paralyzing stroke -- how this journalist made the comeback of a lifetime.
Kristen Aguirre, by all accounts, did everything right: She wanted to deliver the news, and work as a storyteller, especially for underserved communities -- and after college, she landed TV jobs in Quincy, Illinois; Flint, Michigan; and then Denver, working as a reporter and anchor. It seemed like nothing could stop her. Until she was blindsided by a ischemic stroke that hit the motor strip of her brain.
Dr. Grenita Lathan: Leaving HISD with no regrets
Grenita Lathan, Ph.D., was never more than an Interim Superintendent for three years at the Houston Independent School District. After being passed over for the permanent job more than once, she leaves in July to become the Superintendent of the Springfield Missouri Public Schools. On this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall, she talks about why she’s leaving, the lessons learned and what more needs to be done. She also says during natural disasters and the pandemic, she learned the importance of being able to pivot and focus on priorities such as feeding the children and families of HISD. “To see the lines wrapped around the school out into the street, it was so disheartening,” she said. “I’m talking to the staff and I’m saying this can’t be a one-shot deal. We can’t just stop and provide meals today. We need to figure out how we’re going to do this.” See the full interview above.
Mental health on the COVID frontlines: Our next crisis?
The following article touches on mental health as it pertains to those who have worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the real emotional stories we cover play out in the documentary above. Health care turned upside-downIn March 2020, the world was flipped upside-down, and because of that, there have been and continue to be many who have experienced difficult moments, some of which have led to real mental health crises. As a society, we’re constantly putting an emphasis on physical health, which is important, but somewhere along the way, it seems as though mental health was forgotten. This certainly wasn’t someone who suffered from mental health conditions or depression for years. Watch our entire special, What Lies Beneath: Managing Mental Health, above.
Demi Lovato’s shocking new docuseries sheds light on mental health struggles
In 2018, singer Demi Lovato almost lost her life to a drug overdose, and now, she’s stepped forward to tell the world her story. Lovato’s new docuseries “Dancing With the Devil,” which you can watch on YouTube, explores the events that led up to her near fatal overdose. The docuseries not only covers Lovato’s prior mental health issues, but how she now processes her daily struggles. AdMany of us have known someone who has had difficulty with mental health, or perhaps someone who struggles with addiction. The first two episodes of “Dancing with the Devil” are available to watch on YouTube, and you can expect to see two more episodes coming out.
Houston boxer Virginia Fuchs details her personal battle with O.C.D.
HOUSTON – Houstonian Virginia “Ginny” Fuchs is no stranger to challenges, both in and out the ring. She’s the captain of the women’s USA Boxing team and is preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Ginny Fuchs (© Wilf Thorne)“My team got me to be number one in the nation, and I’m ranked number three in the world right now. Virginia "Ginny" Fuchs (Steven David)“Don’t be ashamed, don’t be afraid to go out there and ask for help. Therapy and exposure therapy are the tools I use today to keep me managing my O.C.D.
Experts discuss mental health care during COVID-19 and tips for 2021
The pandemic changed how we do things and impacted people’s mental health, but experts say there is a lot to look forward to this new year. “I think that this year for many people has been incredibly exhausting and emotionally and psychologically taxing,” Julie Kaplow said. She’s the executive director of the Trauma and Grief Center at the Hackett Center for Mental Health. In the past 365 days, Kaplow said COVID-19 has created a lot of mental health issues for children and adults. “We’ve all been incredibly stressed over the last year and now is the time to really take care of ourselves,” Kaplow said.
Blue October debuts new mental health documentary “Get Back Up”
He sits down with Courtney Zavala to discuss his new documentary Get Back Up, which chronicles the band’s struggles with substance abuse, mental health, subsequent treatment and recovery. CZ: The documentary is called Get Back Up and I think so many of us can relate to that. What do you think this documentary is doing not only for your fans but those who are struggling with these inner demons, with the depression? So, I wanted to take the chance to make a documentary strictly for the people that were looking for a solution. Blue October’s forthcoming 10th studio album This Is What I Live For is set to be released in September.
‘Pandemic within a pandemic’: Mental health issues surge during pandemic in Houston area
HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department’s new hotline to address mental health issues during the pandemic has received hundreds of calls since launching in October. “People are under a great deal of stress and pressure,” said Dr. Janice Beal, program director for the Let’s Beat COVID-19 helpline. The holiday season is upon us but months into the pandemic, not everyone is celebrating. The Harris Center for Mental Health has a special telephone line dedicated to COVID-19-related mental health issues. The Harris Center for Mental Health:COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line: 1-833-986-1919The Harris Center Crisis Line: 713-970-7000, Option #1Houston Health Department:Let’s Beat COVID helpline: 713-999-9442.
Holiday decorating is good for your mental health
HOUSTON – Harnessing the power of rituals can help us reclaim some of our identity that has been lost during the pandemic, according to UT Physicians/ UT Health. That joy is linked to memories that come with these rituals which makes them more than tradition, it gives healing power to holiday decorating. For many, holiday decorating is a way to call those memories to mind. While rituals can improve our mental health, don’t hesitate to seek help if they are not enough. To make an appointment with a UT Physicians mental health specialist, call 888-4UT-DOCS.
COVID-19 patients experiencing psychosis months after recovery
About 20-25% of patients are getting a psychosis diagnosis months after recovery. Shah said he sees this happening among the patients he treats, some only in their 30s. “Post-COVID depression, anxiety, insomnia, psychosis, sometimes cognitive issues,” Shah said. However, he said that normally happens while you’re taking the steroid or a few days after, but they are seeing this in patients three, four, five months after recovery. Do the 20-25% of patients who get a psychosis diagnosis have a previous history of mental health issues?
Ask 2 Live: How to protect your mental health during the holidays and a pandemic
HOUSTON – We’ve talked a lot about physical health since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic, but there’s also been an impact on mental health. With the holidays approaching and the pandemic still impacting our daily lives, how can you protect your mental health? ICYMI: Expert advice for finding affordable health care in the Houston areaDon’t put off taking care of your mental health any longer. On Thursday, anchor Kris Gutierrez and health reporter Haley Hernandez moderated an Ask 2 Live discussion with local experts and help answer your questions. If you need immediate assistance for mental health and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities related crisis, please call The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD 24-hour Crisis Line at 713-970-7000, option 1, to speak with a crisis counselor.
How to get help with mental illness in Houston
Angelina Hudson said she knows firsthand the struggle and the journey to get help. Long before the pandemic disrupted daily life, she struggled to cope with caring for her son Quentin, who was born severely autistic. ASK 2 LIVE: Join tonight’s Ask 2 Live discussion about mental health amid the pandemicIt changed Hudson’s life. In January, before the pandemic took hold, NAMI logged just 186 responses by phone or email to people needing help. It operates a crisis hotline for people who are in danger of hurting themselves or others, and an information line for all things COVID-19.
Ways to prepare for and deal with holiday stress
If you set the expectation when you give the invitation, people can choose whether they want to join or not, said Dr. Taylor. “Even if it’s taking one thing off that list or doing one thing ahead of time,” Dr. Taylor suggested. “I’m going to repackage the utensils and wrap those in a napkin. “I’m going to put my feet on the ground and I’m going to focus on what it feels like to have my feet on the ground in this moment," Dr. Taylor said. GET YOUR HOLIDAY STRESS QUESTIONS ANSWEREDKPRC plans to dive deeper into this topic with our Ask 2 panel Thursday night.
Turner announces $6.2 million effort to help domestic violence victims in Houston
HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that the city is investing $6.2 million, provided by the CARES Act funding, in an effort to fight domestic violence, which he said has increased during the coronavirus pandemic. Turner launched the Domestic Violence and Crisis Intervention Response Initiative with officials from both the Houston police and fire departments and Houston Public Health on Monday during a press conference. He said the initiative will help the city intensify its efforts to address the increase in domestic violence calls. The domestic violence response initiative is needed.”Officials with the Houston Health Department said its mental health division, crisis intervention response team and community partners will expand their reach to serve more domestic abuse victims. The Houston Health Department also launched Phase 2 of its public health campaign called, "Don’t stop.
Houston Health Department launches new COVID-19 mental health support program
HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner, U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and the Houston Health Department are working together to launch a new effort to support mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. The program, called “Let’s Beat COVID-19: Health Education and Support Services,” includes a mental health helpline and other resources to help people adjust to the pandemic mentally and emotionally, according to the City of Houston in a release. Stephen L. Williams, director of the Houston Health Department said these services will be available to anyone, however, they will also focus on parents and guardians of school-aged children, childcare providers, teachers, and City of Houston staff on the frontlines. The mental health program will also offer virtual support groups, toolkits and trainings to support mental and emotional needs, the department said. Houstonians can call 713-999-9442 to reach a mental health professional for appropriate intervention.
Ways to tell if your teen is struggling with anxiety, how to help
“Teens have been very resilient during this time.,” said Ashley Bryant from Therapy in Color. However, Bryant said a lot of teens hide feelings of depression and anxiety from their parents. Here are ways to determine if your teen is struggling:Harmful self talkBryan warned about some big red flags that include noticing “drastic behavior changes or they start talking about themselves in a more negative way... or if they start talking about self-harming." Boys may be aggressive while girls may express more emotions“Sometimes with boys it can be difficult for them to express their emotions," Bryant said. There are several online services that match your teen to a licensed professional counselor.