Guide to 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.
An Overview of Mental Health in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Based on the aforementioned data, it’s estimated that roughly one million
full-grown residents of Oklahoma that 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 percent.
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 that 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 contributes to the stigma. To dissuade this logic
in regards to 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 really have got to get to
the day when all Oklahomans understand these are diseases like any other
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 percent of the state’s needs are
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 a
number of 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.
E-Counseling.com’s therapist directory was created to help those in need of
mental health assistance via counseling find trusted professionals in your
area. Settle for the best experience by using our directory to find a therapist
fit just for you.