Navigating Mental Health: Resources and Support in Oklahoma City - 405 Magazine

Navigating Mental Health: Resources and Support in Oklahoma City

As May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, it's an opportune time to explore the options available in the 405 for those seeking support.

Judy Garland famously sang, “When all the world is a hopeless jumble and the raindrops tumble all around” … but what happens when you cannot seem to find the light Over the Rainbow? Dealing with a mental health issue, for yourself or someone you love, can be confusing and scary. As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to learn what some of the options are in Oklahoma City if you ever find yourself needing resources. 

If someone around you is expressing they may harm themselves or others, or you are considering self-harm, call or text 988. This national suicide and crisis hotline is the first step in managing the situation. If you are in danger or feel unsafe, call 911. In the event of a mental health crisis, individuals are usually transported to the closest emergency room for evaluation. 

After a 48-hour stay at the hospital, patients requiring additional care may be transferred to a facility like Oakwood Springs in NW OKC. This behavioral health hospital is a 72-bed facility with one unit solely focusing on stabilizing patients in the acute stage. Once admitted, patients usually stay about eight days receiving specialized treatment including medication management, individual and group counseling and strategies to help them return safely to the community. Daily treatment is overseen by a care team including a psychiatrist and medical doctor to ensure a safe discharge when the patient is ready.

Oakwood Springs also offers a 30-day rehab program in its Chemical Dependency unit to help patients withdraw and recover from substance abuse and addiction. A third unit, called Help for Heroes, is unique in that it only treats uniformed men and women who serve the community. Patients are active duty military, veterans, EMSA personnel, firefighters, police officers, doctors and nurses who receive evidence-based and outcome-driven support to assist them in being service-ready upon discharge. Because of the trauma, mental and physical stress and life-threatening situations involved in these careers, this group has a specialized treatment program while allowing the patients to connect with each other on a deeper level. 

Once the acute crisis situation has passed, the real work begins in being able to maintain good mental health as patients are discharged. Oakwood Springs provides ongoing support, including its Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Patients arrive daily for treatment and go home at night while in the PHP, and then the frequency of care tapers off as patients improve in IOP. There is also a completely free weekly alumni group meeting for continued support. 

Finding the right mental health provider is so important, but can be challenging. Agencies like Integrated Therapy Solutions of Oklahoma have locations across the metro and offer outpatient therapy that can be in person, virtual or even at-home visits. Psychology Today has one of the most comprehensive search engines for finding a therapist, psychiatrist, treatment center or support group in the 405.

No matter how gray the skies are, help is available — and you, too, can wake up where the clouds are far behind you. 


Managing Editor Kaylin Hill had these suggestions to help boost your mental health in the OKC metro: 
– Get out in nature: Spend a day in the sun at Scissortail Park

– Get in touch with your body: Myriad Gardens offers free yoga and tai chi classes.

– Pick up a new hobby: Take a painting class at Oklahoma Contemporary or ring-making class at Cheyenne Sky Studio

– Limit alcohol: Our local restaurants are now offering a ton of mocktail options — check out Mary Eddy’s mocktail menu to start.


Looking for more resources to improve your mental health? Check out this list of 24 Healthy Living Tips for 2024.