November 10, 2005

Improving Treatment

On November 4th, Charles Curie, of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, presented a grant for $14.7 million to the state of Oklahoma to help them improve their mental health programs. They were one of seven states to receive $92.5 million in federal "incentive" grants, which will be paid out over five years. Oklahoma, ranking 1st in the nation in the number of people per capita suffering from brain disorders and 14th in suicides, is definitely due for some change. Terry Cline, state health secretary, discussed his agency's goals, which included "removing bureaucratic hurdles in the delivery of services". Officials now must tackle the task of developing a comprehensive plan, which will be presented to Governor Brad Henry for approval on Oct. 1, 2006. According to Cline,

It will focus on rural areas, overcoming language barriers, improving coordination among government agencies, providing early screening and assessment, providing referral for teenagers and the elderly and meeting the needs of minorities and underserved groups.

Hopefully, if their new plan is successful, other states can learn from it and improve the quality of health care across the country.

"$14.7 million awarded to improve mental illness treatment" The Associated Press. Nov. 4, 2005.


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