In most states throughout the country, funding for mental health care services is taking a major hit as a result of the tightening grip of the global economic downturn. Facing difficult decisions in terms of financing social programs and services, state officials are often forced to cut funds going toward mental health facilities and initiatives, and in some areas where therapy and related practices have just begun to gain momentum, this downturn is especially bitter. Oklahoma is among such places where therapy has recently experienced a greater degree of acceptance, though the bare statistics still have many professionals greatly concerned about the well-being of the state’s population.
Throughout the state, a mere third of people who are indicated for being in need of mental health care receive adequate services, and the numbers are substantially less encouraging when it comes to children and young adults. As the financial crisis deepens and money is diverted away from efforts to help therapy services expand and reach more people, the need for developing positive and effective prevention strategies is clear.
In an effort to help bring about these necessary changes in the mental and emotional landscapes of the state of Oklahoma, officials are pushing for early intervention in situations involving mental health issues. Those who come into contact with law enforcement agencies or are treated in hospitals who are likely to be suffering from symptoms of mental health concerns should be treated immediately, say the officials, rather than left to explore possibly expensive or inaccessible services on their own. As the state strives towards meeting the needs of its residents, it is hoped that other areas looking at difficult mental health budgets will follow suit.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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