Mental health center in Lawton bracing for possible cuts - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Mental health center in Lawton bracing for possible cuts

(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Mental Health facilities across the state are preparing for the worst after Wednesday’s announcement of a possible $75 million cut to funding for mental health in Oklahoma.

 The Jim Taliaferro Community Mental Health Center has been in Lawton since 1975, and currently serves just under 3,000 people through its outpatient center.

Executive director Brenda Ototivo said she doesn't know where people will go for help if that part of the center is closed.

"I wish I had an answer but I don't know,” she said. “They'll end up in ER's and jails or dead. Once again that's not being overdramatic that's being real."

She's had current patients come in crying wondering what's going to happen to the center. Ototivo said she tries to be optimistic but knows she won't have much to offer if it the cuts goes through. 

"We just try to reassure all of our consumers that they're still here to talk to them, we're still going to get them their medication,” Ototivo said. “Maybe not so much on everything else but we can reassure them that they'll see a doctor and get a prescription." 

If the cuts happen, she said all eleven services on the outpatient side of the facility will go away. 

Ototivo is counting her blessings that the cuts aren't even more than the proposed 75 million.

"We're still going to have our inpatient unit,” Ototivo said. “We only have 14 beds. If they do not have a resolution that number of beds is going to need to increase but it won't because the money is not going to be there. We already know that."

Hearing about the possible cuts have been devastating and disheartening for Ototivo, but she's hopeful legislators will find a resolution.

"I still believe that our elected officials are going to be able to come to some resolution. They have the ability. If they do it or not is up to them," she said.
If the cuts go through Ototivo said she'll have to lay off between 65 and 70 employees with the notices starting in November and December. 

She said they have seven federal grants, but without their outpatient services, she's waiting to see if the center will get to keep those grants.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • More detail in Colorado family killings expected next week

    More detail in Colorado family killings expected next week

    Friday, August 17 2018 2:14 AM EDT2018-08-17 06:14:36 GMT
    Friday, August 17 2018 7:21 PM EDT2018-08-17 23:21:50 GMT
    (The Colorado Bureau of Investigation via AP). This photo combo of images provided by The Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows, from left, Bella Watts, Celeste Watts and Shanann Watts.  The Frederick Police Department said Chris Watts was taken into ...(The Colorado Bureau of Investigation via AP). This photo combo of images provided by The Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows, from left, Bella Watts, Celeste Watts and Shanann Watts. The Frederick Police Department said Chris Watts was taken into ...

    Shanann Watts' Facebook page painted a portrait of a happy married life - of a woman dedicated to her husband and their two young children.

    Shanann Watts' Facebook page painted a portrait of a happy married life - of a woman dedicated to her husband and their two young children.

  • Aretha Franklin's funeral set for Aug. 31 in Detroit

    Aretha Franklin's funeral set for Aug. 31 in Detroit

    Friday, August 17 2018 4:27 PM EDT2018-08-17 20:27:23 GMT
    Friday, August 17 2018 7:20 PM EDT2018-08-17 23:20:23 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File). FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2006 file photo, Aretha Franklin and Dr. John, background on piano, perform the national anthem before the Super Bowl XL football game in Detroit. Franklin died Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 at her home...(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File). FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2006 file photo, Aretha Franklin and Dr. John, background on piano, perform the national anthem before the Super Bowl XL football game in Detroit. Franklin died Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 at her home...
    Aretha Franklin's funeral will be held Aug. 30 in her hometown of Detroit.
    Aretha Franklin's funeral will be held Aug. 30 in her hometown of Detroit.
  • McMahon Auditorium gains state of the art sound system

    McMahon Auditorium gains state of the art sound system

    Friday, August 17 2018 6:56 PM EDT2018-08-17 22:56:28 GMT

    You may notice a difference in sound quality the next time you attend an event at McMahon Auditorium. That's due to the new, state of the art sound system. 

    You may notice a difference in sound quality the next time you attend an event at McMahon Auditorium. That's due to the new, state of the art sound system. 

Powered by Frankly