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Local mental health programs play a vital role in school security


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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 3/06/2013 9:02 am Published: 3/05/2013 5:38 pm


You can’t seriously talk about improving school safety without seriously improving how we handle issues surrounding mental health.

That conclusion comes from the Oklahoma Commission on School Security.

The COPES program is operated by Family & Children’s Services and is the only 24/7 emergency response unit in the state of Oklahoma.

For people dealing with mental health issues, Tulsa County’s Community Outreach Psychiatric Emergency Service, or COPES is sometimes their only lifeline. Last year alone, the hotline received nearly 6,000 calls.

"By providing this outreach we are able to defuse the situation and save lives,” says Tina Wells with Family & Children’s Services.

For anyone feeling like they are at the end of their rope, they can call the hotline at 918-744-4800.

“There is a huge need in Oklahoma for the expansion of mental health services,” says Wells.

But providing that service at all hours of the day costs money, and the need for more funding is apparent.

"Those services have to be funded and there has to be an allocation of funding so that we can meet the needs,” says Wells.

COPES is free, confidential and team members can come to you at any point day or night. It costs $1.5 million for the COPES program to run, however 84% of that money is provided by the state of Oklahoma.

But given the fact that Oklahoma ranks number 2 in the nation for adults struggling with mental illness, there is still so much more that needs to be done.

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CRIME STOPPERS is a citizen-supported program that allows people to report criminal activities anonymously.

The Crime Stoppers Coordinator and the Crime Commission Board of Directors determines the amount of awards and ensures payment to those who provide information, and are responsible for raising money to continue their respective programs
To report a crime call 596-COPS or text a tip by following these directions:
  1. Send text to “Crimes” or “274637
  2. Begin your message with “TIP918
  3. Type your tip and hit send
  4. When the text is received, the sender will receive a PIN number within 10 seconds confirming receipt of the information
  5. The tipster will be instructed to call 911 if an emergency or crime in progress is being reported
Visit the Crime Stoppers web site.
See Also: Webtips
OK Crime Prevention Network

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