Since 1955 Mental Health Association Oklahoma has been the voice for those impacted by mental illnesses and fighting the stigma related to mental disorders. In November 2010, we opened the first peer-run drop-in center in Oklahoma. The success of this program led to a request to open another in Oklahoma City. In late 2013, we opened Lottie House, our second peer-run drop-in center. Shortly afterwards, we began operating two additional programs statewide, TeenScreen and SunBridge. In 2014 we officially announced our new name, Mental Health Association Oklahoma, and expanded focus as a statewide agency.
Our current programs include mental health education to schools, businesses, and the broader community, mental health advocacy addressing prejudice and discrimination directed toward people living in recovery with mental illness, support groups, pro bono counseling, referral and assistance to people experiencing mental health needs, mental health screening, suicide prevention, and crisis response to schools. We also provide peer-to-peer recovery counseling, workforce training and development, and housing and support services for people impacted by substance abuse, mental illness, release from incarceration and homelessness.
The need for affordable housing for those experiencing homelessness has been determined through annual Point-in-Time Counts conducted by A Way Home for Tulsa. The gap between existing and needed units of supportive housing was established in 2001 by A Way Home for Tulsa. A new Housing Inventory Chart is updated each year with the application to Housing and Urban Development.
Rebuilding Lives: Disaster Relief
Rebuilding Lives is an ongoing project focused on the lingering mental health needs of survivors, family members and first responders involved in the May 2013 tornadoes in 19 different Oklahoman counties. The focus is also on creating preparedness for the next disaster through Psychological First Aid Trainings, reaching cities such as Coweta and Shawnee.
The Sunbridge Program assists individuals with mental health needs to access care and support appropriate to their needs.
The Association provides six, free support groups to the community in Tulsa and are in the process of developing support groups in Oklahoma City.
The Mental Health Education Program seeks to create public awareness and educate about the prevention, identification and treatment of mental disorders through traditional and social media, as well as through workplace and community education events, including health fairs, speaking engagements, trainings and literature distribution.
The mental health system is often complex and it can be difficult to navigate the existing array of services. Our objective for Outreach & Prevention Services is to highlight the appropriate services in the community, and bridge the gap of low-cost, short-term counseling services.
SunBridge has two components. Our community referral component focuses on building a knowledge base of available services and their targeted participants. It is easy for people to reach out and ask for help through our statewide referral line and access referrals, or receive “light” case management or screenings for more complex needs. When other services aren’t available, the second component of SunBridge, our pro bono counseling, connects eligible participants who have transitional struggles, such as job loss, death of a loved one, a relationship transition or response to trauma, with short-term treatment and support from volunteer clinicians in their community.
Advocacy and Public Policy.
Our Advocacy and Public Policy program seeks to create sustainable improvements in the policies and practices that impact Oklahomans impacted by mental illness. We partner with individuals who access mental health services, families, professionals and community leaders meet to discuss systemic problems and to develop creative, mutually beneficial strategies for addressing them.
We are unique as we actively lobby at the state and federal legislative and regulatory levels on behalf of people who receive services, and those who provide those services to them. This neutral approach allows us to focus on broad systemic goals and push for major system reforms that can often be disruptive to many stakeholders, but provide the best long-term solution.
Recovery Services is comprised of Creating Connections, which changes lives by improving our participants’ levels of independence, socialization, life skills and mental illness management through sponsored peer events, Peer Outreach Services, that works with individuals with high-level needs based on their mental illness and co-occurring disorders to identify needs and provide a trained peer case manager to assist with acquisition of services, Legal Outreach and two drop-in Centers, that offer a warm, friendly, family atmosphere for adults experiencing the challenges of living with a mental illness or co-occurring disorder.
Lottie House - Location: 1311 N. Lottie Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73
The Association’s Recovery Services programs continue to experience success as it remains steadfast in its mission to serve our most vulnerable citizens -- those who are impacted by homelessness, mental illness, and in need of healthcare and basic support services. The variables that we chose to measure are critical to connecting individuals to services in the community. Research shows that improving a person’s self-esteem, social bonds and community connectivity is paramount in aiding the facilitation of persons re-integration back into their community.
At the beginning of the year, Jason entered the Recovery Services program merely as a participant engaging in the services offered by the program. In short order, he began to engage and befriend other participants visiting the program and helped out when activities/events were being held. We soon discovered that he was living under a bridge. After several months of participation in our program, Jason was certified as a program volunteer, employed through the Association’s transitional employment program and housed in his own apartment. Eventually, Jason earned a construction job with a company refurbishing one of the Association’s apartment complexes.
Rebuilding Lives seeks to address the lingering mental health needs of survivors, family members and rescue and relief workers involved in the May 2013 tornadoes in central Oklahoma and other areas of the state, particularly as survivors approach the anniversary of these events and subsequent storm season. This program serves survivors through outreach and referral to appropriate evaluation and services in or near their local community.
Rebuilding Lives is building capacity in both rural and urban areas for rapid mental health response to local and regional disasters by equipping area professionals with training and skills required to serve in a disaster response effort. Additionally, Sunbridge has been enhanced to include community information and education focused on disaster recovery, along with outreach and training for mental health professionals.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 Oklahoma City Community Foundation
1000 N. Broadway Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73102