Poll: Most Oklahomans would support a mental health clinic in their neighborhood


Monday, October 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Sixty-three percent of Oklahomans would support having a mental health clinic or group home in their neighborhood while more than half said they have known someone with mental illness, a new poll found.

The Tulsa World-sponsored poll asked people if they would support or oppose the opening of a mental health clinic or group home in their neighborhood.

Sixty-three percent answered yes they would support it, 24 percent said no they would not, and 13 percent didn't take a position.

The highest support for a mental health clinic in their neighborhood -- 69 percent -- came from the non-urban areas outside Oklahoma City and Tulsa, poll consultant Al Soltow said.

That compares to 60 percent in Tulsa and 56 percent in Oklahoma City.

While 54 percent of those questioned said they have known someone with mental illness, Soltow said 45 percent said they have not and that 1 percent didn't respond to the question.

Only one-third of the sample, Soltow said, felt as though the mentally ill in their community had adequate access to treatment.

Twenty-one percent said they didn't know or refused to answer the question, while 46 percent said no.

According to the poll, 54 percent of Tulsans felt their city had inadequate treatment access, compared to 42 percent in Oklahoma City and 43 percent in the rural areas.

Of those polled, 84 percent said they think health care insurance should provide the same coverage for mental health problems as it does for physical health problems.

Only 9 percent of those polled rejected the idea.

The Oklahoma Poll surveyed 750 people statewide and was taken Sept. 23 to Oct. 2 by Consumer Logic. It has a margin of error rate of plus or minus 3.5 percent.