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Mental Illness

The LWVMT adopted a position on Mental Illness at the annual meeting in 2001. This position, slightly amended, was adopted by concurrence by the League of Women Voters of Oklahoma at the biannual meeting in 2001.

The League of Women Voters of Oklahoma believes that provision of mental health services in Oklahoma should be improved in the following ways:

  • That the state undertake a basic mental health needs assessment of Oklahoma’s children, adult, elderly, homeless and penal institution populations to serve as the basis for coordinated State and local planning to determine need for services; that such assessment should include input from citizens as well as all providers and funding sources, and should occur each decade and following any major revision in the structure of the state’s mental illness services (as in the closing of Eastern State Hospital);
  • That the state focus on all aspects of identification and prevention of emotional problems, mental illness, and substance abuse. State funding should be provided for intervention and prevention programs in the schools and child-care programs;
  • That the state increase funding for child mental health services and correct systemic payment issues which prevent any access to that care;
  • That the state monitor the effectiveness of mental health programs to ensure accountability and translate these findings into better allocation of available funds.

The League of Women Voters of Oklahoma believes that the delivery of services for mental illness and substance abuse in Oklahoma can be more effective; therefore, the LWVOK recommends that Oklahoma and the DMHSA undertake the following:

  • A strategic state plan for treatment of illness based on epidemiological data which addresses all populations, including all minorities
  • Funding for training personnel for delivery of services with placement relative to, and based on, needs of a community
  • Improve access to mental illness services
  • Stop the diversion of mentally ill children and adults into the corrections system
  • Increase funding to the Oklahoma DMHSA; increase funding especially to outpatient centers for mental illness and substance abuse

Consensus approved 2002