Oklahoma nonprofit works on the intersection of homelessness and psychological well being

Oklahoma nonprofit works on the intersection of homelessness and psychological well being

KOCO 5 has partnered with the United Strategy to spotlight a number of the organizations they assist



HIGHLIGHTING THE EXCELLENT WORK ACCOMPLISHED BY Centraide AND THEIR PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS. TODAY WE TALK WITH THE MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION OF OKLAHOMA TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THEIR MISSION AND WORK IN THE COMMUNITY. WE NOW JOIN THEIR CEO, TERRI WHITE. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE. >> THANK YOU FOR WELCOMING ME. ALEJANDRA: HAPPY TO HAVE YOU HERE. WE LIKE TO SHOWCASE ORGANIZATIONS IN OUR COMMUNITY. FIRST, GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF WHAT THE MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION DOES AND YOUR MISSION. >> THE MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION OF OKLAHOMA IS THE BOOTS STATE NON-PROFIT ON THE GROUND AT THE INTERSECTION OF HOMELESSNESS AND MENTAL ILLNESS. WE FIGHT EVERY DAY TO FIGHT MENTAL ILLNESS, PREVENT SUICIDE AND HOMELESSNESS AND TRANSFORM CRIMINAL JUSTICE THAT. ALEJANDRA: YOU DO A LOT AND THE SERVICES ARE VITAL FOR OUR COMMUNITY. TELL US MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES YOU OFFER AND HOW YOU DO THIS WORK. >> WE REALLY EXIST IN — WHEN I SAY BOOTS ON THE GROUND, WE SERVE PEOPLE WHO ARE OFF THE NETWORK, NOT CONNECTED TO SERVICES. WHEN YOU SEE SOMEONE WHO MAY BE AROUND THE CORNER, TEN UNDER A BRIDGE OR HIGHWAY, OUR STAFF IS ON THE GROUND TO MAKE THOSE CONNECTIONS. NOT JUST HOUSING, BUT THE SERVICES THAT SUPPORT IT, WHETHER IT IS MENTAL HEALTH OR ADDICTION AND ESPECIALLY WORK, WORKING TOWARDS SELF-SUFFICIENCY IS A HUGE PART OF WHAT WE DO AT MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATIONOKLAHOMA. ALEJANDRA: AND THAT FACE-TO-FACE HUMAN INTERACTION MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE, SO IT’S IMPORTANT. I READ ON THE SITE, YOUR ASSOCIATION HELPS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF WILL. — THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE. HOW DID YOU SEE THE NEED FOR SERVICES FOR EVOLVE? IS IT FINALLY MORE ACCEPTABLE TO SPEAK OF A NEED FOR HELP? >> WE HAVE MADE A LOT OF PROGRESS IN THE AREA BUT DEMAND HAS NEVER BEEN SO HIGH. WITH THE PANDEMIC AND WHAT HAPPENED IN TERMS OF NUMBER OF PEOPLE LOSING JOBS AND UNDERGOING FINANCIAL STRESS. THE FIRST STRESS WHEN WE DID NOT KNOW HOW LONG WE NEED TO SHELTER IN PLACE HE SAW A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY. SPECIFICALLY IN ADULTS. IT WAS PREVIOUSLY ONE IN 10 ADULTS, IT IS NOW THREE IN 10. WE HAVE ALSO SEEN A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN HOMELESSNESS. WE NEED TO RESPOND TO THIS TOPIC WITH MORE SERVICES. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THESE PROGRAMS ARE FUNDED TO MEET NEEDS BECAUSE WE KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE BUT THAT’S HOW MANY OKLAHOMANS CAN BE REACHED. ALEJANDRA: WE CERTAINLY HAVE SEEN THIS IN THE PANDEMIC. BOBBY FOR — BUT BEFORE WE CONTINUE, MAY I ASK YOU TO MOVE YOUR HAIR A LITTLE. I HATE DOING THIS, IT’S LIVE TV. I JUST DON’T WANT ANTI-AFTER – ANY INTERRUPTION. CONTINUING HERE, THE SERVICES YOU OFFER ARE SO IMPORTANT. CAN YOU GIVE US A LOOK AT SOME OF THE IMPACTS YOU’VE SEEN AFTER WORKING WITH PEOPLE? >> ABSOLUTELY. LET’S TALK ABOUT WHAT WE DO FOR YOU. WE ARE FORTUNATE TO BE A PROUD PARTNER OF UNITED — THE UNITED WAY OF CENTRAL OKLAHOMA. THEY HAVE A WAYFINDER GRANT AND WE WERE RECIPIENTS OF THE GRANT IN 2019 AND 2020. RIBBLE TO START A STREET OUTREACH TEAM THAT MEET PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE, BUILDING TRUST, OFFERING FOOD, WATER AND HYGIENE PACKS AND BEING THERE WHEN OTHER SYSTEMS HAVE LEFT PEOPLE SO MANY TIMES. USING OUR STREET AWARENESS TEAM THEN THE 2020 WAYFINDER GRANT HELPED START THE STREET MEDICINE TEAM. THERE ARE ONLY TWO STREET MEDICINE TEAMS IN THE STATE. WE OFFER ONE IN TULSA AND ONE IN OKLAHOMA CITY. I WILL SHARE A JOHN STORY. JOHN IS AN INDIVIDUAL WHO – IT’S HARD TO THINK ABOUT NOW, BUT IN EARLY 2022 WE HAD REALLY HORRIBLE COLD RIDES. JOHN HAS LOST TWO TOES to frostbite. WHEN OUR STREET MEDICINE NURSE TIM FOUND THEM ON THE STREET HE REFUSED TO GO TO THE EMERGENCY. BECAUSE WE OPERATE A STREET MEDICINE TEAM, TIM WAS ABLE TO SEE HIM TWICE A WEEK FOR THE NEXT FIVE WEEKS AND HE WAS ABLE TO SAVE HIS LEG. WITHOUT IT, HE WOULD HAVE LOST HIS LEG AND POTENTIALLY HIS LIFE. THIS IS JUST A STORY OF WHAT WE DO. ALEJANDRA: IT’S AMAZING. WHO KNOWS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOUR TEAM HAD NOT BEEN THERE. THIS IS INCREDIBLE JOB. IF ANYONE WATCHES THIS AND KNOWS SOMEONE WHO NEEDS HELP OR HE NEEDS HELP, WHAT DOES HE NEED NOW? WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP? >> ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW IS THAT HELP IS AVAILABLE. I HOPE YOU SHARE OUR CONTACT INFORMATION. WE HAVE A NUMBER YOU CAN CALL IF YOU NEED THE STREET AWARENESS TEAM. WE ALSO OPERATE A MENTAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE CENTRE, A NUMBER ANYONE CAN CALL WHO IS HAVING DIFFICULTY NAVIGATING THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM. THIS IS NOT THE NATIONAL SUICIDE TELEPHONE. BUT IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE GETTING TO APPOINTMENTS OR YOU ARE NOT SURE YOU NEED MENTAL HEALTH HELP AND YOU NEED A SCREENING, CALL US AT OUR MENTAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE NUMBER MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY AND WE WILL MAKE THOSE CONNECTIONS AND MAKE THOSE HOT TRANSFERS AND WE WILL STAY AND STAY WITH PEOPLE UNTIL THEY GET THE SERVICES THEY NEED. ALEJANDRA: IT’S IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE KNOW HELP IS HERE. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOUR ORGANIZATION NEEDS? DO YOU NEED VOLUNTEERS? HOW CAN PEOPLE HELP YOU IN THE WORK YOU DO? >> WE ARE LUCKY TO HAVE EXCEPTIONAL PARTNERS LIKE YOU — LIKE THE Centraide ORGANIZATION. WE ALWAYS NEED DONATIONS IF PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO DONATE BUT IT’S NOT JUST DONATIONS OF MONEY. WE LOVE HAVING VOLUNTEERS. WE OPERATE HOUSING. WE HOUSING OKLAHOMANS WHO ARE HOMELESS AND HAVE THINGS LIKE WELCOME BASKETS WHEN THEY GET THE KEYS TO THE APARTMENT AND THEY CAN ENTER INSIDE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS A WELCOME BASKET THAT HAS TOWELS AND A COUPLE PANTS FOR THE KITCHEN AND THINGS LIKE THAT. WE OFFER MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR VOLUNTEERS IF THEY ARE RETIRING, CONTACT US. ALEJANDRA: I LIKE IT VERY MUCH. MANY THINGS WE TAKE ACCOMPANIED CAN MAKE SUCH A DIFFERENCE IN SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING WITH US AND TALKING TO US ABOUT THE MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION OF OKLAHOMA. WORK

Oklahoma nonprofit works on the intersection of homelessness and psychological well being

KOCO 5 has partnered with the United Strategy to spotlight a number of the organizations they assist

KOCO 5 has partnered with United Strategy to spotlight a number of the organizations they assist. One such group is the Oklahoma Psychological Well being Affiliation. CEO Terri White spoke with KOCO 5 about what the group does. Open the video participant above to be taught extra.

KOCO 5 has partnered with United Strategy to spotlight a number of the organizations they assist.

One such group is the Oklahoma Psychological Well being Affiliation.

CEO Terri White spoke with KOCO 5 about what the group does. Open the video participant above to be taught extra.

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