Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Therapists
Find a therapist in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma that meets your needs. Browse our comprehensive list of affordable and licensed therapists in Oklahoma City to find a professional specializing in counseling people with stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, grief, and more.
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Finding Mental Health Professionals in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City is the mid-sized capital of the state of Oklahoma. It boasts a somewhat large population of 638,367 people as of 2016. Unfortunately, both the city and the state are suffering from a mental health crisis. Oklahoma’s rate of mental health issues is one of the highest in the country. According to a recent study by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), Oklahoma is the third in the nation for rates of mental illness. These illnesses can include anything from generalized anxiety disorder to eating disorders. However, as reflected by ODMHSAS studies, the most prolific instances of poor mental health in the area tend to be mood-related or acute.
Based on the aforementioned data, it’s estimated that roughly one million full-grown residents of Oklahoma require treatment; almost double the population of Oklahoma City, alone. It’s also estimated that a vast majority of those who require mental health services do not receive any. Oklahoma City residents live amongst some of the highest substance abuse rates in the country. The state ranks number two in America for it at almost 12%. The state of Oklahoma does statistically well in other areas, like obesity and smoking. So, why are exceedingly high rates of mental illness present? One reason is the populace’s demographics: The ordinary citizen is a middle-class white person who is a part of a family unit. That particular sector of people is known to report higher rates of mental illness. Another reason mental health has grown to be such a concern in Oklahoma City is the stigma surrounding addiction and mental illness, according to Governor Mary Fallin, who has since put forward a plan aimed at boosting the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services’ budget by $16 million. The proposed legislation makes way for plans to “open a new mental health crisis center, target prescription drug abuse, launch suicide prevention programs, and expand counseling for disturbed children and their families.” She says the stigma that many hold with them about mental illnesses greatly affects the high rate of poor mental health, citing the supposed lack of effort on the part of the state government. Oklahoma and Oklahoma City, in particular, are known for having a great sense of pride stemming from the cowboy days that likely contributed to the stigma. To dissuade this logic regarding mental health, education campaigns have been launched. They attempt to tackle the shameful mindset often accompanying mental health problems. As put by Governor Fallin, “We have got to get to the day when all Oklahomans understand these are diseases like any other diseases.” Additional contributing factors to Oklahoma City’s mental health crisis include a large number of abuse cases that are dealt with every year as well as high rates of incarceration. Oklahoma’s rate of incarceration stands at 1,079 per 100,000 people, making it number one in the nation, according to a recent study by the Prison Policy Initiative. For reference, the national average is 500 prisoners per 100,000 residents, as per PRB.org.
The Trouble of Finding a Suitable Therapist in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
There are approximately one million residents in Oklahoma who require the services of a professional concerning mental health. A majority of those in need will not receive any help. As stated previously, it’s been theorized that many people will refuse assistance out of fear of being labeled “mentally ill.” This theory is supported by a 2004 World Health Organization report. It mentions shame based on stigmas to be the number one reason people do not go to counseling sessions for help, despite needing it. According to Kaiser, a non-profit organization with a focus on mental health, Oklahoma is suffering from a massive shortage of mental health professionals, like therapists. Only 21.6% of the state’s needs are being met. Accessibility to what’s available is decent, though. Mental health is covered by a bevy of insurance programs, regardless of income.
Mental Health Resources in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Despite the area’s shortage of mental health professionals, there are still several resources open to residents. Institutions like Cedar Ridge Hospital and the Integris Mental Health Clinic offer a variety of useful services to help combat mental illness and substance abuse.