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Oklahoma State University

Finding Hope with Mental Health Awareness Training

Friday, April 5, 2019

Dr. Jason Beaman D.O., M.S.

Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences (OSU-CHS) Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences has been awarded a grant to offer Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Entitled “Finding Hope,” the three-year project will expand and enhance awareness training efforts to better prepare individuals and emergency services personnel to identify mental illness, employ de-escalation techniques, establish referral linkages, and connect individuals to available community resources.

Jessica Johnson, Project Coordinator of “Finding Hope” will train a wide variety of groups on the front lines of assisting individuals with mental health disorders: medical students, primary care providers, school personnel, veterans and first responders including police officers, fire department personnel and emergency medical technicians.

According to the Tulsa Mental Health Plan, about 19,000 children and youth in greater Tulsa, 7.7 percent of the total, have a serious emotional disturbance. Half of all mental illnesses appear by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24, therefore providing adolescents early and effective intervention is key. “Finding Hope” will tailor its training efforts to assist those on the frontlines with adolescents and transitional age youth, as well as the most vulnerable adults in Tulsa, those with a serious mental illness (SMI) or serious emotional disturbance (SED).

“Mental illness touches everyone, yet we often rely on television and social media for information, often leading to increased stigma and decreased understanding. This grant will allow us to provide the most up to date, evidenced-based knowledge about mental illness,” said Program Director, Jason Beaman, D.O., M.S., M.P.H., FAPA and chair, OSU-CHS Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. 

The ultimate goal is to utilize mental health awareness training to reduce the impact of mental illness on affected individuals and its prevalence within Tulsa. Both Dr. Beaman and Johnson will be available to provide trainings and mental health presentations.

With this grant, OSU-CHS will build upon a long history of commitment to the welfare of area citizens, especially those in rural and underserved populations. This grant will have considerable community impact on individuals and families as violence, untreated mental illness, substance abuse, suicide, accidental death, and other severe traumatic events have devastated our communities and exacted a fearful physical and emotional toll. 

To learn more about the program or to request a mental health presentation, contact Jessica Johnson at jessica.johnson@okstate.edu.

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