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The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism 2006-2007

Andrea Ball
Reporter
Austin American-Statesman
Austin, Texas, USA

TOPIC: Write a feature-length article that chronicles the emotional and psychological burdens surrounding a family dealing with a premature birth.

Rosedale Foundation  
The Rosedale Foundation gave Savannah Borden her voice.

"Including Samuel" Puts Relationship Into Perspective 
I sigh the minute I see "Including Samuel" on my desk.

Queer Prom Gives Austin Youths Chance to Be Themselves 
David McClendon is in prom planning mode.

New Center Caters to Special Needs Kids (link no longer available)
The crowds were too loud, the lights too bright, the lines too long for the 6-year-old Georgetown boy, who has autism. Trips to the store ultimately ended in tears and tantrums.

Mike's Place Helps Memory Patients and Their Caregivers Alike 
It's Wednesday morning and a half-dozen seniors are sitting at Mike's Place.

Helping the Sick and Homeless 
Verta Freison spent years drinking and taking drugs. She went to prison, lost her family, slept in homeless camps and struggled with heart, kidney and blood-pressure problems.

Mental Health Programs Hit Hard in Proposed Budget Cuts 
More than 20,000 Texans who receive state-funded mental health services would lose care under budget cuts proposed this week by the Department of State Health Services.

Getting to Know the Homeless
Jim Briggs missed a lot of things when he was homeless.

After Ending Husband's Life, Woman Tries to Go On With Hers  
Kim Yarbrough glows with pride as she shows off the small shrine she made for her late husband, Lloyd.

Years After Mental Health Overhaul, New Picture of Needs Emerging  
Six years ago, Texas leaders knew the state mental health system was in bad shape. They knew it couldn't help everyone; that patients got few services; that community mental health centers didn't consistently measure how well programs worked; that care varied from center to center.

Should Governments Ban the R-Word?
Claudia Cardenas has heard the "r-word" her whole life.

Tiny Babies, Fragile Families 
About a month ago I wrote about a writer, Andrea Ball, who was asking for input from preemie parents. Visit The Austin American-Statesman's website to read the series. The series profiles the struggles of one family dealing with a premature birth.

Jared Loughner and the Stigma and the Reality of Mental Illness (link no longer available) 
Since six people were killed and 13 were wounded at a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store on Jan. 8, the media have focused on the mental health of Jared Loughner, who is charged in the shootings. They've detailed his political rants on YouTube and MySpace. They've scrutinized his bizarre behavior in his college classes.

Homeless Man Gets Off the Streets, Wants to Help 
Others Dennis Morris was living in a homeless camp, drinking, drugging and sleeping in a tent when he decided he'd had enough.

Local Nonprofits are Hurting for New Board Members (link no longer available)
About 40,000 Central Texans serve on nonprofit boards and another 7,000 are needed to fill all the empty seats, according to a new report

Grant to Help United Way Focus on Mental Health Issues (link no longer available)
The Austin boy, who is now 6, had just been adopted from Ethiopia and was adjusting to a new life in a new country whose language he didn't understand. And his frustrations came out at Trinity Child Development Center.

Communities for Recovery Helps People with Chemical Addictions and Mental Illness 
Communities for Recovery, which offers support to people with mental illness or chemical addiction, is building its name while trying to expand its reach. This week, executive director Michaelanne Hurst talks more about what the nonprofit does and where it's going.

Mental Health Center Face Big Cuts  
He's not in prison, not in a hospital, not living under a bridge. The Bastrop man is just a regular guy, a 53 -year-old welder who keeps his illness under control with help from his local mental health center. Without that care, he says, he'd be in big trouble.

Mental Health Help, Texas Style
A homeless man found Samantha Harvey on the Town Lake hike-and-bike trail, her lifeless body hanging from the limb of a tall cypress tree.

At UT's Psychology Department, Keeping the Art of the Limerick Alive (link no longer available) 
Deep in the bowels of the University of Texas campus, a rogue group of psychologists is keeping alive one of the least respected forms of poetry: the limerick. Once a year, at the psychology department's biggest conference, professors introduce the featured speaker with a personalized limerick. They also pen odes to colleagues and, occasionally, students.

Nonprofits Question Scoring System for Austin City Contracts (link no longer available)
Local non-profits are criticizing the scoring system the City of Austin used to recommend $13.2 million in social services contracts, saying it focused too heavily on scores and not enough on ensuring crucial needs are funded.

New Rules Allow Homeless People with Disabilities to Sit on Sidewalks (link no longer available) 
A 6-year-old ordinance aimed at keeping the homeless from lingering in front of downtown shops, homes and bars now make exceptions for people with disabilities.

Don Zappone: A Look Back (link no longer available)
Their problems were all over the map: drugs, autism, anger issues, attention deficit disorder, poor performance at school. You name it, Zappone has seen it. And every child, he says, deserves a chance to overcome those hurdles.

 
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