The Norman Transcript


February 17, 2013

State ranks high in mental illness, addiction



First, we need to do screenings. We’ve got to identify people who are at risk. How often does your physician ask you if you’re using drugs and alcohol or if you’re suffering from depression? It’s not happening. People aren’t being identified.

Second, we’ve got to make people more aware of what mental health and addictions really are. That’s where mental health first-aid training comes in. It helps people understand general information about mental health.

· Would screening occur in schools?

We have some amazing partnerships already with schools. But we have many, many schools we still haven’t reached. The need is still huge.

· Is Oklahoma doing all that it could to make sure guns don’t wind up in the hands of people with serious mental or emotional problems?

There is a national registry for persons that have been identified with mental illness. Our state could submit names to that. However, our state law currently prohibits us from doing so. There’s legislation this year to allow Oklahoma to begin submitting names to that database. It’s a joint effort between the district attorneys’ council, our agency, the administrative office of the courts and the (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation).

· Have you had any personal experience or exposure to mental illness or addiction in your life?

I have family members who have struggled with the issue of addiction and mental health, primarily addiction. We’ve had a lot of alcoholism in my family.

If you ever meet someone who says that they have not been touched by mental illness or addiction, either personally or in their families or with a close friend, they simply don’t realize it. One in four Oklahomans struggle with mental health and addiction issues in their lifetimes.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has state teachers worried about instruction

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Legislature’s repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they’re concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 states ...

    July 22, 2014

  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Rebels release train with bodies from jet

    HRABOVE, Ukraine — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gaza death toll passes 560

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A high-level attempt by the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state to end deadly Israel-Hamas fighting was off to a rough start Monday: Gaza’s Hamas rulers signaled they won’t agree to an unconditional ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Perry sending Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry is deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border over the next month to combat what he said Monday were criminals exploiting a surge of children pouring into the U.S. illegally. ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Better weather to aid in fire fight

    SPOKANE, Wash. — Calmer winds and cooler temperatures were allowing firefighters to go on the offensive Monday against a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles of terrain in Washington State and is the largest in ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Gay, transgender workers gain U.S. bias protection

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday ordered employment protection for gay and transgender employees who work for the federal government or for companies holding federal contracts, telling advocates he embraced the “irrefutable ...

    July 22, 2014