The Association routinely collaborates with community agencies, organizations and other stakeholders across the state. Many of these organizations are working together to help people move from homelessness to sustained housing stability, with needed services effectively wrapped around them. They are also helping people navigate the complex mental health system and divert people out of incarceration and into treatment.
Since our founding in 1955, we have been certified as an affiliate of Mental Health America. Together we promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated care, services, and supports for those who need it, with recovery as the goal.
In 1958 the organization became a member of the Tulsa Area United Way. In 2014, soon after the Association expanded to become a statewide agency, we became a partner agency of the United Way of Central Oklahoma.
We are the Oklahoma outreach partner for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In this role, we conduct outreach activities to address the needs of populations that experience mental health disparities. In addition, we promote volunteer participation in NIMH and NIH clinical trials.
Through a partnership with American Red Cross, our case managers connect individuals affected by the Oklahoma City bombing to resources and provide direct financial assistance as needed.
These initiatives in Tulsa and Oklahoma City are comprised of agencies all working to help people experiencing homelessness achieve housing and treatment.
Built for Zero (formerly Zero: 2016) is a rigorous national change effort working to help a core group of committed communities end veteran and chronic homelessness. Coordinated by Community Solutions, the national effort supports participants in developing real time data on homelessness, optimizing local housing resources, tracking progress against monthly goals, and accelerating the spread of proven strategies.
Led by the National Association of Counties, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, Stepping Up is a national call to action kicked off in May 2015. It encourages counties and jails to work with state and local agencies and stakeholders on an actionable plan.
In partnership with the Tulsa City Municipal Court and other local non-profit organizations, including Family and Children’s Services and Youth Services of Tulsa, the Association initiated and organized a community-wide collaboration that is now known as the Special Services Docket. This holistic defense model seeks to increase the recognition of multi-dimensional mental health needs, resource options, points of diversion, and overall knowledge of mental illness and its over-representation within our criminal justice system. Our alternative docket creatively identifies pathways of early diversion for people impacted by mental illness and substance use disorders that can link them to necessary resources and treatment and ultimately prevent incarceration.
Tulsa’s innovative Community Response Team (CRT) provides a more efficient and effective response to Oklahomans experiencing a mental health crisis. The three-person CRT team includes an officer from the Tulsa Police Department, a paramedic from the Tulsa Fire Department, and a mental health professional from Family and Children’s Services. This rapid-response team works together to de-escalate individuals in mental health crisis, divert them when appropriate from costly stays in jail, hospital emergency departments, and inpatient behavioral health hospital stays. Partners include Family & Children’s Services COPES, Mental Health Association Oklahoma, Office of the Medical Director for Metropolitan Tulsa, Tulsa Police Department, Tulsa Fire Department and St. John Health System.
As we have learned of the overwhelming, unmet healthcare needs present in the lives of our housing tenants, such as dental care needs, obesity, and cardiovascular concerns, and poor overall physical health care, we developed our Community Health and Wellness Primary Care program. Made possible by a partnership with the William K. Warren Foundation and the Association, this program addresses the physical health needs of our Tulsa housing tenants by providing them with a registered nurse to function as their primary care physician to grant them the unhindered access to health care services they deserve.