Oklahoma City (KFOR) – Mental health is a top priority for Oklahoma leaders as September 1 marks the first day of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Shortly after the state launched the 988 Mental Crisis Hotline, a legislative oversight agency recommended consolidation across state mental health services agencies.

The Fiscal Transparency Legislature says the state’s 17 mental health services need to form task forces because too many important opportunities to help people are being overlooked.

LOFT Executive Director Mike Jackson said:

The group’s newly released report on mental health service delivery highlights concerns.

“Some of them are the lack of comprehensive or quality data for evaluating outcomes and the lack of a unified vision and statewide strategy,” Jackson said.

LOFT’s goals are to identify the types of mental health and substance abuse services offered by state agencies, determine if service overlap exists, and explore opportunities to better align expertise and service delivery. and to identify challenges faced by mental health and substance abuse providers in delivering services. Evaluate interstate best practices for mental health and substance abuse service delivery and opportunities to improve outcomes.

They recommend that the Oklahoma legislature form a statewide council of mental health services to gather vital information.

“It’s very important,” Jackson continued. “This is one of the reasons he recommends setting up this entity that will bring together 17 identified agencies that provide services in Oklahoma and allow them to obtain information about them.”

Along with establishing a statewide coordinating council for the delivery of behavioral health services, they announced that the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, along with its annual budget request, will provide a comprehensive “psychiatric assessment” reflecting service indicators. We would like to provide you with an annual report on the state of health. Identifying the demographics of those served, the types of services provided, and service gaps in all state agencies providing mental health and substance abuse services.

LOFT requires agencies to provide data to ODMHSAS for the purpose of preparing the annual State of Mental Health report, and calls on all state agencies involved in the delivery of mental health programs and services to: We are proposing to require a coordinated funding plan to be prepared and submitted to Congress annually. By October 1st each year.

The report also identifies systemic workforce challenges for behavioral health care providers and provides a list of recommendations on how to recruit, retain, and increase wages for behavioral health care providers. We recommend that you develop it or request that it be contracted with a research institution. Following the conclusion of this study, a comprehensive report should be submitted to Congress.

In addition, they require ODMHSAS and the Oklahoma Department of Education to complete a baseline inventory of all behavioral health services provided in the school district, whether provided by schools, private providers, or directly by ODMHSAS. I hope there is.

Mr. Jackson informed KFOR of some of the service gaps LOFT found, including coordination and data sharing among state agencies, access to transportation and services, labor shortages, rural access to behavioral therapy, county He said he found them in prison mental health treatment. Direct and targeted services, behavioral health programs in public schools, and continuum of care for military officers and veterans.

ODMHSAS sent a statement regarding the report to KFOR on Thursday, in which spokesman Jeff Dismukes said: Left unaddressed, behavioral health needs have far-reaching and negative effects on our state and communities. We are thrilled with the commitment of . Working together, we will further strengthen our results and bring lasting benefits to our state. ”

Jackson is optimistic that the state legislature will form a task force during the next legislative session, and implementation from the task force could roll out in three to four years.

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