Steven Buck, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services deputy commissioner, and Michael Brose, Mental Health Association Oklahoma executive director, are featured guests at “Oklahoma Watch-Out” Jan. 27

Public question-and-answer forum to focus on mental and emotional health issues

Oklahoma Watch is reporting a year-long series on mental-health issues in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Watch is reporting a year-long series on mental-health issues in Oklahoma.

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

Steven Buck, deputy commissioner for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and Michael Brose, executive director of Mental Health Association Oklahoma, will be featured at the forum on Tuesday, Jan. 27, from 6-7 p.m. at Kamps 1910 Café, located at 10 NE 10th Street in Oklahoma City. This event is part of Oklahoma Watch’s “Troubled State: A Series on Mental Health in Oklahoma,” enabled by a donation from The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation and Zarrow Families Foundation.

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? Are new state efforts and the Affordable Care Act making a difference?

Oklahoma Watch Executive Editor David Fritze will moderate the discussion. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP to and come with questions.

Buck serves as deputy commissioner for communications and prevention at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The department assists Oklahomans who suffer from mental illness and addiction with services ranging from treatment to housing to prevention and early intervention. As deputy commissioner, Buck directs the organization’s prevention and provider certification initiatives. He also oversees both internal and external communications and leads state legislative relations.

Prior to joining the department in August 2007, Buck spent 10 years working for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). During his tenure, he served in variouse capacities, including director of state policy, director of state relations and executive director of NAMI Oklahoma. As director of state policy, Buck provided oversight and consultation in public policy development to the 50 NAMI state organizations.

Buck has advocacy experience in state legislatures and has been involved in numerous campaigns and policy initiatives.

In 1993, Brose joined the Mental Health Association in Tulsa, which promoted mental health and supported those living with mental illnesses in the Tulsa community. Earlier this year, the organization went statewide, becoming Mental Health Association Oklahoma. Its staff has grown over the past two decades from 5 to more than 140 employees. It is offering new programs in the Oklahoma City area, while still owning and managing 23 apartment complexes in Tulsa for people impacted by mental illness and homelessness.

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 media organization that produces in-depth and investigative content on a range of public-policy issues facing the state. For more information and to make a donation, visit


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