The Morning Brew: How bad is Oklahoma's suicide rate?
Oklahoma's suicide rate is among the highest in the country
Oklahoma's suicide rate ranks No. 8 nationally, meaning every 11 minutes an Oklahoman makes the decision to take their life.
The Oklahoman's Darla Slipke took a hard look at the problem, which has its roots in budget problems and access to care.
Each year, between 700,000 to 900,000 Oklahomans need treatment for mental illnesses or addictions. Only one in three who need that help are able to access it — a gap that Terri White, the state's mental health commissioner calls "significant."
Stigma plays a role with some people reluctant to seek services.
But the largest factor is there simply aren't enough resources for people who need assistance, White said, whether that's someone who doesn't have insurance or the means to pay or someone who has insurance but their co-pays or deductibles are high or their insurance isn't appropriately covering their disorders.
"The biggest gap is that the services are underfunded," she said.