My 2 Cents: Budget Cuts Impacting Oklahoma Mental Health Care

Monday, March 28th 2016, 10:28 pm
By: News 9

We've heard a lot about the cuts to education because of Oklahoma's budget crisis.

But I'm equally concerned that we're immediately cutting $23 million that could mean life or death for some Oklahomans.

That's money that would have gone to local mental health crisis centers -- those few places where a dazed and worried parent can take their suddenly out of control teenager to, or drug treatment centers where children or grownups can go to try to beat life destroying addictions.

Or to suicide prevention.

If you don't think mental illness has touched your life, you're probably just not aware of it yet.

I challenge you to ask around, family members or friends and I'll bet you'll be shocked how many have relatives or friends, or they themselves have confronted mental health issues or substance abuse.

Look around your workplace or classroom, statistics show that one out of four of those Oklahomans have struggled with mental illness or addiction.

According to a federal agency Oklahoma has the second-highest rate of adults with serious mental illness in the nation, but our budget to help these people is ranked 46th, and now we're cutting that by 7 percent.

Even when money is tight like it is right now, we must sacrifice in other areas to help our neighbors and friends struggling with their mental health.

I'm Kelly Ogle and that's My 2 Cents.