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OU Nursing Host Mental Health Panel for Students

OU Nursing Host Mental Health Panel for Students

The Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center was host to two distinguished colleagues who are in key positions to affect the quality of health care for Oklahomans.  The psychosocial nursing faculty invited Commissioner Terri White from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Deputy Commissioner Tina Johnson from the Oklahoma State Department of Health to speak to senior nursing students in the traditional and accelerated programs. The panel discussed mental health and wellness in Oklahoma, the impact of advocacy and policy development, and how nursing is a powerful voice in health care.  “Commissioner White was emphatic in her description of our current budget situation as impacting life and death for many people who are affected by the opioid crisis and the state’s high suicide rate,” said Dr. Melissa Craft, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Administration and Graduate Education. “Simply put, Commissioner White told the students that money provides the services that prevent suicide and prevent accidental death from opioid overdose. If those dollars are cut, more Oklahomans will die.” OU Nursing clinical faculty and panel moderator Megan Jester stated the panel provided a unique opportunity to hear from leaders in our community and how nursing students play an important role in the health of Oklahomans. 


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