ARDMORE, Okla. -- Big money is on its way to Ardmore for an often overlooked and under funded segment of the health care industry- psychiatric and substance abuse rehabilitation services.
Half a million dollars in grant money was awarded to the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services of Southern Oklahoma, located on South Commerce in Ardmore. They provide everything from in-patient drug rehab to psychiatric evaluations and therapy, and will soon have the only full-time psychiatrist in Ardmore.
The money is a gift from the Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation, and is earmarked specifically for facility improvements. Those improvements are much needed, as some parts of the campus date back to the 1950s.
Administrators say this kind of grant will help them provide better services to more than 2,500 clients from 9 counties.
"Hopefully it will mean that there is going to be a presence in this community that will not only address the mental health needs of the consumers, the behavioral health which includes substance abuse, but will also enable us to partner more actively with primary care physicians," executive director Robert Lee says.
Half of all first episodes of mental illness occur by age 14, so more and more of the people who need help are actually young adults and their families. Lee said much of the grant will be used to make their facility better equipped to handle a younger crowd.