Terri White, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services commissioner, and Michael Brose, Mental Health Association in Tulsa executive director, are featured guests at “Oklahoma Watch-Out” Nov. 20
Public question-and-answer forum to focus on mental and emotional health issues

TULSA – Two prominent Oklahoma leaders in mental health will speak and answer questions from the public at an event sponsored by Oklahoma Watch entitled, “Oklahoma Watch-Out: A Community Forum on Mental and Emotional Health.”

Terri White, commissioner for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and Michael Brose, executive director of the Mental Health Association in Tulsa, will be featured at the forum on Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 6-7 p.m. at Circle Cinema located at 10 S. Lewis Ave. in Tulsa.

Terri White

Among the issues to be discussed: What are the greatest barriers Oklahoma faces in trying to reduce its high rates of mental illness, depression and substance abuse? Will new state efforts and the Affordable Care Act make a difference?

Oklahoma Watch editorial staff launched the “Oklahoma Watch-Out” event series to further the nonprofit’s mission, which is to dig beneath the surface of public-policy issues affecting the state and, by informing, help improve the lives of Oklahomans. Executive Editor David Fritze and other members of the editorial staff will moderate the discussion. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP to events@oklahomawatch.org and come with questions.

Michael Brose

As mental health and substance abuse commissioner, White serves as CEO for one of Oklahoma’s largest state agencies. Her department assists Oklahomans who suffer from mental illness and addiction, with services ranging from treatment to housing to prevention and early intervention. White was appointed commissioner in May 2007. She was the first woman appointed Oklahoma Secretary of Health, serving in that capacity under Gov. Brad Henry from 2009 to 2011.

Under White’s leadership, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has become nationally known for its children’s behavioral health services, community-based treatment programs, technological innovations such as “telepsychiatry” and the integration of behavioral health care into primary health-care settings.

In 1993, Brose joined the Mental Health Association in Tulsa, which promotes mental health and supports those living with mental illnesses in the Tulsa community. Since then, he has increased the staff from 5 to more than 140 employees. The organization has also grown from housing only 12 people in 1993 to owning and managing 25 apartment complexes for homeless and mentally ill people today.

The organization partners with local and national nonprofits to help eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and other disabilities, identify gaps in services and promote access to effective treatment. In 2010, the association received the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits award for Top Nonprofit in the State of Oklahoma.

About Oklahoma Watch
Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism organization that produces in-depth and investigative content on important public-policy issues facing the state. For more information and to make a donation, visit www.oklahomawatch.org.

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