Oklahoma Governor Seeks to Expand Mental Health Services

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Oklahoma’s governor, Mary Fallin, announced a proposal last week to increase funding for mental health services in the state.  Fallin cited the recent Sandy Hook shootings as “what can happen when mental health issues go unaddressed in a state or undiagnosed or frankly ignored.”  The governor’s plan is to increase funding for mental health services in the amount of $16 million with half of this amount going toward existing programs while the other half would go toward the development of new programs.  Fallin also proposed the building of a new crisis center in Oklahoma in addition to seeking more funding for the treatment of children with mental health issues.  Governor Fallin again stated her refusal to expand Medicaid coverage in Oklahoma reasoning that the state cannot afford such a measure.

Mike Brose, Director of the Mental Health Association of Tulsa, commented on this development as reported by KWGS, Tulsa’s NPR station.  Brose welcomed the news of additional funding for mental health services, however, weighing it against the level of need in Oklahoma stated, “In the big scheme of things…it isn’t much and it’s not enough, but we are pleased to hear of her announcement.”  Mike Brose has worked as the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Tulsa (MHAT) since 1993.  Under his leadership, MHAT’s housing programs for people with substance abuse issues or mental illness have grown significantly.  These programs focus on integrating these individuals back in to a community of support and recovery.

Mike Brose will be presenting, “Recovery in Our Lifetime:  The Possibilities Are Now,” at Brookhaven Hospital’s upcoming professional seminar, February 6, 2013.  Click here for more information, or call 918-625-5188 to register to attend this seminar.

Click here to listen to the story on Tulsa’s NPR station, KWGS.

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