Click on the arrow, or on any point on  the soundscape, to hear the Oklahoma Watch-Out forum on mental health, held at the Circle Cinema in Tulsa on Nov. 20. The panelists were Terri White, commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and Michael Brose, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma. Click here for a video excerpt.


Terri White
Terri White
Michael Brose
Michael Brose

1:50: White, on why Oklahoma has high rates of mental illness.

4:18: Brose, on whether the Affordable Care Act will “move the needle” to improve Oklahomans’ mental health.

7:16: White, on whether the state has enough providers to meet people’s needs.

9:00: Brose, on what is being done to help lower suicide rates.

12:25: White, on the “mythology” of suicide.

13:08: White: “You have to ask the question directly (to people), ‘Are you thinking of killing yourself? Are you thinking of killing yourself?’ … They are waiting for someone to ask.”

14:35: Question from parent in audience: “What three things do I say to legislators?”
White: “Nobody likes my answer on this…: ‘Fund it. Fund mental health and substance abuse services.’”

16:25: Brose: “I’m going to give you another word to go with funding: Organize. We need to organize better … We’re getting beat politically.”

17:35: Question from a parent whose stepson refuses to seek treatment: “The answer (from professionals) has always been, ‘There’s nothing you can do.’”

24:43: Brose: “In terms of our culture in this country … we’re about 100 years behind” the findings of science about mental illness.

25:32: White: On the need to call upon the rest of the health industry and the private sector to fight mental illness.

27:28: Question for White: Any chance of additional mental-health funding in the coming legislative session?

29:00: Brose: “We’ve really lost that whole concept of investing in people.

29:40: Question from a rural high school counselor: What can be done when parents won’t give permission for their child to seek mental-health treatment?

37:36: Audience member: Is there a registry of alcohol and drug treatment centers?

40:40: Corrections employee: What can be done to prevent incarcerating so many of the mentally ill?

43:30: Brose, on the need to implement discharge planning for inmates.

45:00: White: Mental health is part of overall health and wellness.

46:22: Do any laws need to change to fight our widespread prescription drug abuse? “Yes, yes, yes.”

53:50: Is methamphetamine still a huge problem in Oklahoma?

56:20: If Oklahoma were expanding Medicaid, would services for mental health get better?

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