Nearly 20 years ago, the state decided to radically redesign the department of Mental Health. The capacity for residential mental health care was foolishly cut off. There had been several thousand beds, but that was all mostly terminated despite the mandate in our constitution for the state to maintain them. there was a promise by Gov. Frank Keating, to erect & operate a network of short term acute care facilities, but Keating left office and he said last January; "Evidently it wasn't a priority for Brad Henry".
To make matters worse, the new state mental health agency ODMHSAS decided to privatize the public health functions and most of their corporate contractors stipulated that they do not want to accept patients who are ordered into mental health treatment by cops or courts, leaving cops little choice but to declare a criminal infraction and arrest the ill person. That's where men are vastly abused, while women are ignored. A judge made a court order limiting Able's contact with a person. That person complained to the court that a phone call was made. None of this was ever proven in court, yet Ables has been stripped of his civil liberties and labeled a 'criminal'.
Russell Ables is by no means the only person in Oklahoma being treated this way. This weekend I spoke with other families who share a similar injustice. They don't want their loved one's name to be published. All of it is happening because 20 years ago the state politicians bought the line that we don't need residential mental health facilities anymore.
Here's more of Denwalt's report on Ables' case...
Opinion of the Editor
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David Van Risseghem is the Director of Sooner Politics.org. The resource is committed to informing & mobilizing conservative Oklahomans for civic reform. This endeavor seeks to utilize the efforts of all cooperative facets of the Conservative movement...