Tulsa area officials, others discuss affect of downsizing of state hospital


Monday, February 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


(Tulsa-AP) -- Tulsa area officials and advocates for the mentally ill say the downsizing of the state mental hospital at Vinita was done too fast and without proper planning.

Eastern State Hospital began moving out non-criminal patients in January 2000 as mandated by state legislation.

Area officials say that since then the number of suicides is up, there are shortages of hospital beds, and an increase in drug offenders.

John Taddiken with the Tulsa Alliance for the Mentally Ill says downsizing of mental hospitals in other states is successful because officials took their time. Taddiken says the plan for the Tulsa area moved too many patients out of the mental hospital, too soon.

Other officials suggest re-opening bed space at the Vinita facility, or using the closed Doctors Hospital or Children's Hospital to provide services for the mentally ill.

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