Tulsa’s resilience strategy calls for the city to invest in children’s mental health by bringing various partners together to strengthen collaboration and seek ways to increase the availability of services and supports that are comprehensive as well as preventive.
To make progress on this resilience action, the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Equity and the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma convened the Children’s Mental Health and Family Resilience Coalition in February of 2020. The coalition is made up of representatives from the medical, educational, higher education/research, justice, faith based, and community-based systems. Over the course of 2020, the coalition met regularly to discuss experiences with families and children with mental health disorders and to investigate solutions they have considered or seen to be effective in other locations. The Children’s Mental Health and Resilience Coalition continues to meet and has expanded to have a statewide focus.
One of the key recommendations from this coalition was to establish a youth mental health and family resilience commission and charge it with developing a set of recommendations for the city of Tulsa.
● Mental health is a key component in child and adolescent development, a family’s stability and a community’s resilience.
● Promoting mental health through schools, health care agencies, community programs, and innovative partnerships can improve child and adolescent mental health.
● The high utilization of emergency rooms and inpatient care for child and adolescent mental health care, barriers to family, child and adolescent engagement, and lack of a comprehensive continuum of services adversely impact mental health and family resilience.
● An increase in awareness of mental health concerns and suicidality in children and adolescents can help to increase early detection of mental illness, to promote protective factors, to decrease risk factors, and thereby help to reduce the increasing rate of child and adolescent suicide in Oklahoma.
Data and need
● 1 in 5 students experience a diagnosable mental health disorder every year, about half of these students experience onset of symptoms by 14.
● A 2019 survey found that about 1 in 3 high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless almost daily, of these students almost 1 in 5 reported seriously considering suicide, and nearly 1 in 10 attempted suicide.
● The impact of COVID-19 is more pronounced in young people ages 11 to 17 years. Roughly 9 out of 10 young people who completed the Mental Health America screening showed moderate-to-severe depression, and 8 out of 10 showed moderate-to-severe anxiety
● Suicide accounts for 15 percent of the deaths among youth and young adults ages 10 to 24 years and is the second leading cause of death for this same age group. It is the third leading cause of death among youth ages 15 to 19 years.
Purpose of the Commission
The Tulsa Commission on Youth Mental Health and Family Resilience is created for the purposes of advising youth-engaging organizations with regard to the improvement of mental health of children and adolescents in Tulsa. The Commission will work to identify and address local issues of concern in the Tulsa area through problem-solving and collaborative creation of solutions. Activities will include, but are not limited to the following: data collection, research , and the development of innovative approaches to address community concerns regarding child and adolescent mental health.
The Commission will produce a report and action plan to further facilitate collaboration among child-engaging systems to improve child and adolescent mental health in the City of Tulsa. The commission’s recommendations will be co-created with invested representatives and focus on strategies to:
The Commission shall hold at least one (1) regular meeting per month. Meetings will be held during the following months and will adhere to the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act.
No meeting in July
No meeting in December
The Commission is composed of 13 members and includes representation from the following sectors: behavioral health, medicine, education, higher education or research, justice, community-based, faith-based, mental health advocacy, individuals with lived experience in the child and adolescent mental health system, family members with lived experience with the child and adolescent mental health system, and a state legislator.