The Depression Bipolar and Support Alliance (DBSA) is a national organization dedicated to helping people with mental health disorders. The Oklahoma Chapter is located in Oklahoma City, lead by its Executive Director George Crooks.
To give you an idea of how prevalent mental health disorders are, here are some statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI):
- 19.1% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2018 (47.6 million people). This represents 1 in 5 adults.
- 4.6% of U.S. adults experienced serious mental illness in 2018 (11.4 million people). This represents 1 in 25 adults.
- 16.5% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder in 2016 (7.7 million people)
- 3.7% of U.S. adults experienced a co-occurring substance use disorder and mental illness in 2018 (9.2 million people)
Source: Mental Health By The Numbers
Oklahoma ranks 41 out of 51 (fifty states plus DC) on the Overall Ranking 2020 statistical data sheet on the Mental Health America page. The lower the number, the better, but we score in the lower 20%, unfortunately.
Much of the problem lies in the availability of mental health care facilities, or rather, their lack in rural and lower income locations throughout the state. We ranked 39 of 51 on the national scale.
Groups such as DBSA help by giving persons with mental health disorders (to include those with co-occurring addiction disorders) access to others with similar stories to tell, and lets them know they are not alone. It also helps to fight the bias of stigma against these conditions, which are based on ignorance of the facts and assumptions that these conditions are not treatable. Nothing could be further from the truth for most people.
Danny Stone, a resident of the Oaks who remotely does contract work for Ocarta in Oklahoma City, is a Certified Peer Recover Support Specialist and DBSA Facilitator. Beginning Tuesday, November 5th at 5:30 pm to about 6:30 pm, he will be leading a DBSA group at the Oaks of Mamre in Guymon. The general public is invited, so drop in if you want to participate or find out more about what help is available in our area.
(Logo captured from DBSA Website.)