Oklahomans should take advantage of mental health services

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The arrival of 988 is a game-changer for mental health services in Oklahoma. With this triple-digit lifeline, more Oklahomans will get the services they need, when they need them.

health care, suicide intervention or addictions is crucial for our communities.”/>

Our state’s Initiative 988 gives hope and help to anyone experiencing crisis, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety and more. The 988 Mental Health Lifeline offers callers a way to connect with trained professionals and get the help they need. He advocates for people with mental health issues and provides immediate, accessible and confidential help. Oklahomans will have access to a new continuum of care where help is just a dial or a text away. Previously, Oklahomans suffering from a crisis or critical mental health situation had limited options for immediate assistance. Our goal at Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is to provide resources and help improve the quality of life of those who suffer.

Improving access to resources and services for those in need of mental health care, suicide intervention or addictions is crucial for our communities.

Suicide is the ninth leading cause of death among Oklahomans, and with a death rate of 21.9 per 100,000 population, suicide mortality is the highest ever in our state. Oklahoma also has an overdose death rate of 19.4 per 100,000 population, the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention reports. These unnecessary deaths could be avoided with proper care and services.

After:Q&A: How did the 988 line work the first month in Oklahoma?

Many Oklahomans struggling with mental health issues cannot access the help they need. Without access to proper mental health care, our friends and loved ones can fall through the cracks. Feelings of isolation and hopelessness may grow and a crisis situation may develop. It should be as easy as possible to take that first step towards care, because we know how difficult it can be to ask for help.

My hope for these new services is that they provide immediate and direct support to anyone who is suffering because everyone deserves good mental health.

Now available 24/7, call or text 988 to be connected with a behavioral health specialist. Take advantage of this lifeline, because it’s there and free. Let’s improve the mental health of our state together.

Carrie Slatton-Hodges is commissioner of mental <a class=health and addiction services for the Oklahoma Department.”/>

Carrie Slatton-Hodges is commissioner of mental health and addiction services for the Oklahoma Department.

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