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City of Tulsa Joins Nationwide Effort to Raise Awareness During Mental Health Awareness Month


Councilors present proclamation in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month
City of Tulsa recognizes May as Mental Health Awareness Month

(Tulsa, OK) – The City of Tulsa is joining the nationwide effort to promote mental wellness and the policies and programs it has in place during Mental Health Awareness Month in May.


In Tulsa, addressing mental health needs and promoting mental wellbeing are one of the City’s top priorities, with a mental health lens now being applied to the City’s work through the hiring of its first Chief Mental Health Officer.


“From our police and fire departments who live this every day, to those at City Hall like our Chief Mental Health Officer Dr. Rebecca Hubbard, we are embedding mental health services, staffing, and resources into almost everything we do,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “I want to thank our team and so many others in Tulsa helping to improve mental health outcomes in our city, and I am eager to continue this important work.”


In her first three months, the City’s Chief Mental Health Officer has focused on several mental health initiatives with community-based organizations and other City departments. Some current mental health efforts include the launch of a Children's Mental Health Initiative with three community partners; reviewing and revising the mental health crisis response continuum with TPD, TFD, and community partners; and internal mental health and wellness training among various City departments.


“We are addressing system-level change, with a person-centered lens, to change the way we address mental health in our community,” Dr. Hubbard said. “We are working to network with our partners more cohesively and to shore up any identified gaps we may have.”


The City of Tulsa also applied with the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office for the Tulsa Opioid Abatement Response project, with hopes to begin a dedicated focus on substance use prevention and intervention efforts in Tulsa this summer.


“We also recognize that culture, policy, community, and family each play a role in supporting or hindering efforts for established and sustained mental health,” Dr. Hubbard added. “The individual has a role in mental health recovery as well, but it is not all on them. When our systems respond effectively and efficiently, we will see a significant change in individual wellness and in community resilience. While the task is multilayered and complex, I am excited and hopeful for our future as we continue this work.”


Mental health can, at times, be at the intersection of factors contributing to homelessness, whether as a contributory factor or as an outcome of trauma from instability and loss of safety. The City’s newly announced Path to Home initiative, which brings together mental health, housing, and homelessness resources and information in a more recognizable way, includes more than 50 programs and resources in place to address the complex needs of Tulsa’s unhoused community members.


In the City of Tulsa, mental health services and supports are already offered in numerous ways, most notably through staffing supports, as well as community-based crisis response models like the Community Response and Alternative Response Teams in the Tulsa Police and Fire Departments.


City commissions and coalitions like the Tulsa Commission on Youth Mental Health and Family Resilience have leveraged expertise and community-led supports to help City leaders make more informed policy decisions.


And there are also multiple justice-involved and substance abuse response supports the City has deployed to improve public safety and mental health outcomes. Tulsa Municipal Court’s Special Services Docket and Mental Health Court Advocate, along with Tulsa Sobering Center, are just some of the ways the City is assisting in this capacity.


To see a more comprehensive list of the City’s work in these areas, visit www.cityoftulsa.org/PathToHome.


To receive more information about Dr. Hubbard’s work, email resilient@cityoftulsa.org.


ABOUT PATH TO HOME:

The Path to Home Initiative is a central source for all programming as it relates to homelessness, housing, and mental health within the City of Tulsa. The initiative gives a comprehensive overview of all programming and policy work at the local government level focused on helping individuals experiencing homelessness or struggling with mental health, promoting citywide housing efforts, and supporting the work of dedicated service providers. To learn more about the Path to Home Initiative, visit: www.cityoftulsa.org/pathtohome


TRANSLATION ASSISTANCE:

The City’s website, www.cityoftulsa.org, has a tool to help with translation assistance for any page. Website visitors can click the drop-down menu on any page that says, “Select Language,” and choose from one of more than 100 different languages.

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