Women concerned about possible cuts

Women concerned about possible cuts

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - It is still unclear if the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services will face a $75 million cut from its budget.

Mistie Farmer is concerned for her health after the announcement. She said she's received help off and on from the Jim Taliaferro Community Mental Health Center for the past 18 years and said she's where she is because of the center.

"If it hadn't been for Taliaferro or the triage unit, I don't think I'd be sitting here today," Farmer said. "But because I did come in because I knew enough, I had enough people supporting me I got the help I needed."

Knowing when to get help wasn't always the case for Mistie Farmer. At 18 she was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder and thought she could handle it on her own, but within a few years, she was in inpatient care and still hadn't learned her lesson.

"And then, I spent eight years trying to manage my bipolar on my own," she recalled. "I didn't want to be labeled as crazy."

Farmer sought help again ten years ago, and while she's had some down times, she said the past five years have been the most normal for her.

"If it hadn't been for our outpatient services, from the secretary to the nurses, to my case manager and the doctors and the pharmacy I can't tell you that I'd be here because I can't manage my depression and bipolar on my own," Farmer said.

Farmer not only relies on the assistance but so does her daughter who also suffers from mental illness. She said she doesn't know what she'll do if the cuts go through.

"I don't know what I'm going to do and I don't know what my daughter will do if we don't have these services because Taliaferro is the only place we can go," she said.

Farmer has something she wants Governor Mary Fallin and lawmakers to know.

"I am important, my daughter is important, the three-thousand patients that come to Taliaferro are important, the two-hundred-thousand patients across the state of Oklahoma," Farmer said. "We are important whether you want to think so or not."

Farmer said she's trusting in God that they'll have a resolution at the capitol but says she's skeptical.

Representative John Michael Montgomery said he does not believe the cuts will go through. He went on to say that they're voting on a proposed budget on Wednesday and said if it fails they'll be back at square one.

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