HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

University of Texas at Austin tower, June 22, 2016.
University of Texas at Austin tower, June 22, 2016.

Gun Violence and Mental Health, 50 Years After UT Tower Sniper Attack

After shootings like the one in Dallas this month, or the sniper attack 50 years ago at the University of Texas at Austin, people often wonder if there’s a link between gun violence and mental illness. The link might not be what you thought.

To read the full story, which looks back at the UT Tower shooting and the mental health of sniper Charles Whitman, visit KERA News. Also see The Texas Tribune's story about the armed civilian who helped stop Whitman in 1966.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here. 

After four years struggling with a heroin addiction, Kelly Procter has been sober for almost 16 months. The tattoo on her right arm can be read as "death" or "life" when looked from opposite angles.
After four years struggling with a heroin addiction, Kelly Procter has been sober for almost 16 months. The tattoo on her right arm can be read as "death" or "life" when looked from opposite angles.

Addiction Programs Hoping for Boost in Federal Funds

On Friday, the president signed an ambitious plan to address the nation's opioid abuse epidemic. If federal lawmakers fully fund it, chronically cash-starved addiction treatment programs in Texas could see a surge of money.

Addiction Programs Hoping for Boost in Federal Funds

After four years struggling with a heroin addiction, Kelly Procter has been sober for almost 16 months. The tattoo on her right arm can be read as "death" or "life" when looked from opposite angles.
After four years struggling with a heroin addiction, Kelly Procter has been sober for almost 16 months. The tattoo on her right arm can be read as "death" or "life" when looked from opposite angles.

On Friday, the president signed an ambitious plan to address the nation's opioid abuse epidemic. If federal lawmakers fully fund it, chronically cash-starved addiction treatment programs in Texas could see a surge of money.

Fort Worth Revises Transgender Student Guidelines

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick expressed his opposition to new rules for transgender children in the Fort Worth Independent School District at a press conference in Fort Worth on May 10, 2016.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick expressed his opposition to new rules for transgender children in the Fort Worth Independent School District at a press conference in Fort Worth on May 10, 2016.

The Fort Worth Independent School District issued new guidelines on Wednesday for accommodating transgender students, pleasing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton.  

Texas Wants Aborted Fetuses Buried or Cremated

An exam room at ChoiceWorks, formerly Whole Woman's Health Clinic, on June 27, 2016, the day the U.S. Supreme Court struck down portions of HB 2 restricting women's access to abortions in Texas.
An exam room at ChoiceWorks, formerly Whole Woman's Health Clinic, on June 27, 2016, the day the U.S. Supreme Court struck down portions of HB 2 restricting women's access to abortions in Texas.

In a little-noticed effort to regulate abortion providers, Texas health officials have quietly proposed rules that would require abortion providers to cremate or bury all fetal remains.

 

Pay Caseworkers and Fosters More, Chief Says

Hank Whitman, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, took office May 1.
Hank Whitman, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, took office May 1.

In a wide-ranging interview, Hank Whitman, the new commissioner overseeing Child Protective Services, explains how he thinks he can turn around a child welfare agency crippled by low morale, high turnover and a spate of high-profile child deaths.

Analysis: Abortion Stats Reveal Texas Lawmakers' True Intentions

Demonstrators celebrated at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016, after the court struck down a Texas law imposing strict abortion regulations.
Demonstrators celebrated at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016, after the court struck down a Texas law imposing strict abortion regulations.

State lawmakers' 2013 abortion regulations — an effort to circumvent what was spelled out over time by the U.S. Supreme Court — would have been easier to defend with some evidence. But that wasn’t part of the sales pitch.

 

The Meadows Foundation, RGK Foundation and Burdine Johnson Foundation have supported health care coverage at The Texas Tribune.

New Child Welfare Chief Asks Lawmakers for Cooperation

New DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman, a former Texas Ranger, testifies July 12, 2016 to the House Committee on Human Services about his plans to reform the agency, including having the regional commissioners reapply for their jobs.
New DFPS Commissioner Hank Whitman, a former Texas Ranger, testifies July 12, 2016 to the House Committee on Human Services about his plans to reform the agency, including having the regional commissioners reapply for their jobs.

The new chief of the state's beleaguered child welfare system had a clear message for Texas lawmakers Tuesday: Time has run out for business as usual.