mental health

In the spring of 1949 nearly every major newspaper in Texas published an eight-part series called “The Shame of Texas.” It was a shocking and horrid look at the state of mental health care in Texas and exposed them as the nation’s worst mental hospitals.

Since then there have been periodic attempts at reform and fully funding mental health care in Texas – with mixed success.

From Texas Standard:

Editor’s note: Some of the stories in this post may be disturbing to young readers.

Camp Brave Heart sits just outside of Wimberley, near the Blanco River. It looks just like any other American summer camp. But here the swimming, bonfires and camp songs are secondary to the main mission.

All Brave Heart’s campers have experienced the recent loss of a loved one.


In light of John Hinckley Jr.'s release from a psychiatric hospital 35 years after attempting to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, Shots is exploring the use of the not guilty by reason of insanity plea. We're talking with legal and medical professionals about how the plea works, and how it doesn't work. In this second of a four-part series, we look at how juries respond to insanity defenses.

For some people, the attack on police officers by a gunman in Dallas this summer brought to mind another attack by a sniper in Austin 50 years ago – on Aug. 1, 1966. That's when student Charles Whitman stuck his rifle over the edge of the clock tower at the University of Texas and started shooting. Ultimately, he killed 16 people — and wounded more than 30 others.

For decades, people have struggled to figure out why. There have been theories about abuse, a brain tumor and, of course, mental illness.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

More than half a million Americans are getting trained through a course teaching them how to cope with people in a mental health crisis. Instructors are tackling a prevalent problem with an oversized stigma.