State receives mental illness and drug addiction grant

Monday, January 31st 2005, 5:53 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma mental health workers are getting a much-needed boost to combat mental illness and drug addiction.

The state has received a $500,000 grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to train workers. Another $1-million will be sent to the state annually for the next three years.

Last year, Oklahoma was rated worst in the nation for mental illness. 11% of the population reported depression in a year's time.

Jeff Tallent, former executive director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill- Oklahoma, says Oklahoma's ranking is related to its high rate of poverty. Other factors include lack of affordable health insurance and the rate of substance and alcohol abuse.