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NEWS: My 2 Cents

My 2 Cents: Bethany Mental Health Facility Closing

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Put yourself in the middle of this. Your 18-year-old child begins acting irrationally, threatening to do harm to themselves and/or others.

What do you do? Who do you call? Where do you take them to get help?

That scenario happens every day to some family here in the metro that is completely blind sided by what is going on with their loved one, and has no idea where to turn.

We do a pitiful job of helping them, and it got even worse today with word that Deaconess Hospital is closing its mental health unit at the old Bethany hospital.

They say they're losing money, and I'm sure they are or they'd remain open. But losing their 57 psychiatric beds is terrible news.

Even before this announcement, if a desperate family called police for help, the police had to find a bed, and officers who should be patrolling our streets, instead, are left shuttling patients battling mental illness all over the state. I'm talking hundred of miles.

And too often, these people are ending up in jail, when what they really need is a good diagnosis and education on how to manage their illness and live a productive life.

Folks, we have to get serious about investing in mental health care in Oklahoma.

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    Thanks so much for giving me Your 2 Cents. I read every e-mail I get and appreciate your comments. Be looking for Your 2 Cents Monday through Friday on NEWS 9 at 10. Thanks so much, Kelly Ogle, NEWS 9 Anchor

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