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The Morning Brew: How bad is Oklahoma's suicide rate?

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Oklahoma's suicide rate is among the highest in the country 

Helen Coffey poses with a picture of her grand children Aubrey and Alyssa. And of her family, front row from left Heather Coffey Knapton, Dewayn Coffey, Elaina Coffey and back row Doug Coffey and Helen Coffey, in Edmond, Okla., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Helen Coffey poses with a picture of her grand children Aubrey and Alyssa. And of her family, front row from left Heather Coffey Knapton, Dewayn Coffey, Elaina Coffey and back row Doug Coffey and Helen Coffey, in Edmond, Okla., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

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.

More here.

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Helen Coffey poses with a picture of her grand children Aubrey and Alyssa. And of her family, front row from left Heather Coffey Knapton, Dewayn Coffey, Elaina Coffey and back row Doug Coffey and Helen Coffey,  in Edmond, Okla.,  Thursday, April 19, 2018. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Helen Coffey poses with a picture of her grand children Aubrey and Alyssa. And of her family, front row from left Heather Coffey Knapton, Dewayn Coffey, Elaina Coffey and back row Doug Coffey and Helen Coffey, in Edmond, Okla., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-dacb0918de35b658005dc2342a3126e9.jpg" alt="Photo - Helen Coffey poses with a picture of her grand children Aubrey and Alyssa. And of her family, front row from left Heather Coffey Knapton, Dewayn Coffey, Elaina Coffey and back row Doug Coffey and Helen Coffey, in Edmond, Okla., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="Helen Coffey poses with a picture of her grand children Aubrey and Alyssa. And of her family, front row from left Heather Coffey Knapton, Dewayn Coffey, Elaina Coffey and back row Doug Coffey and Helen Coffey, in Edmond, Okla., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Helen Coffey poses with a picture of her grand children Aubrey and Alyssa. And of her family, front row from left Heather Coffey Knapton, Dewayn Coffey, Elaina Coffey and back row Doug Coffey and Helen Coffey, in Edmond, Okla., Thursday, April 19, 2018. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›

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