A new report released Wednesday shows just how critical mental health issues are in Tulsa.
The report indicates that 1 in 20 adults in Tulsa have a serious mental illness, but mental health affects children and teenagers, too.
Bill Major, the Executive Director of the Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation, says “there are so many people who go without treatment for mental illness.
Major also says they’ve been researching this issue since 2016, along with TU and several other mental health organizations in Tulsa. The results show there’s much work to be done.
The report says 1 in 12 children in Tulsa have a serious emotional disturbance of some kind.
Major believes it’s important to treat these children at a young age.
“We wait until the problem is serious and many times into adulthood, and then it never really gets taken care of,” said Major.
According to Major, without treatment, many people with mental illness end up in trouble with the law.
“We also recognize that a lot of mental illness manifests itself in areas that then become a law enforcement and criminal justice problem,” stated Major.
Major says this research shows that Oklahoma spends $23,000 per year to incarcerate someone with a mental illness, whereas, it would cost just $2,000 per year to treat that person.
Major states that, with the information in this report, they will hire a mental health action team and move forward with a 10-year plan to remedy mental health issues in our state.