Local resources to find help in a sometimes difficult season.
Fall and winter bring shorter days with less sunlight, and for about 10 million Americans, the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Symptoms include fatigue, changes in appetite and persistent feelings of sadness. Considering the compounding effects of other chronic forms of depression, and the upcoming holiday season, which brings stress for so many, mental health care takes significant importance at the end of the year.
There is no shame in seeking mental health care services, but finding the right therapist can be challenging. Psychology Today (psychologytoday.com) has one of the most comprehensive search engines for finding a therapist, psychiatrist, treatment center or support group in the 405. Each licensed professional provides a short bio, a list of treatment specialties and an indication of whether they o er virtual sessions and accept certain insurance plans. Many therapists also have sliding payment scales — worth bearing in mind given that an estimated third of therapy sessions are canceled due to out-of-pocket and secondary costs, according to a survey by Verywell Mind.
Teletherapy services such as BetterHelp (betterhelp.com) can also connect you to online sessions on your smartphone, computer or tablet. There are search options for individual therapy, couples counseling and assistance for teenagers. BetterHelp requires a membership that can cost between $60-90 a week depending on availability and location. Coupon codes are available to o set some of the initial costs.
Local resources, such as Hope Community Services and Red Rock Behavioral Health Services, are available at locations throughout Oklahoma. In addition to individual and group therapy, Hope Community Services (hopecsi.org) provides programs for substance abuse and housing assistance. Red Rock (red-rock.com) has a range of therapies for adults and children and mental health services, especially for Medicaid patients. The center offers in-person and online services, as well as its own crisis hotline: 405-987-ROCK (7625).
In July, Oklahoma launched its new statewide mental health hotline, the phone number 988. This direct, three-digit lifeline, similar to 911, is meant for anyone experiencing or witnessing a mental health crisis. Through call or text, users will be connected to a trained health professional to discuss the situation. About 80% of calls can reach a resolution, according to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. In other cases, the state call center is able to send out a mobile crisis team that includes a mental health professional and trained peer support. This intervention is face- to-face support and could include transportation and assistance with checking in at either an urgent care or crisis center. The lifeline has a relationship with every certified community mental health, community behavioral health and comprehensive community addiction recovery center in Oklahoma.
The goal of 988 is to connect and support callers in the least restrictive or invasive manner, only involving law enforcement if absolutely necessary. In addition to crisis calls, 988 is a resource for all Oklahomans to find local mental health and substance abuse treatment services along with online additional assistance. This single point of contact allows easier access to services to help reduce crisis situations.