Okla. governor: Expand mental health services

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2013 at 11:33 am •  Published: January 23, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin says Oklahoma should expand access to mental health services.

At a forum sponsored by The Associated Press, Fallin on Wednesday said her legislative plan will include three crisis centers, a suicide prevention initiative and a treatment program for prescription drug abuse.

The mental health plan would also boost counseling for families with children who have severe emotional disturbances to help produce "healthy, happy, productive adults."

She said an additional $16 million in spending for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services would prevent tragedies from occurring.

Fallin also said Oklahoma cannot afford to expand Medicaid. She said costs estimated at $689 million would place too much strain on the budget between now and 2022. She wants to increase funds for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.