CREOKS among those providing critical mental health services in Sapulpa

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Local healthcare provider CREOKS seeks to fill the gap for Oklahomans with mental health issues who, for various reasons, are not able to use traditional healthcare providers. 

According to Oklahoma’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, (ODMHSAS) our state has some of the highest rates of mental illness and substance use disorders in the country. We rank 3rd in the nation for rates of mental illness and 2nd for rates of substance abuse disorders. This means that between 700,000 and 950,000 adult Oklahomans need mental health services, however, most are not receiving the care they need to fully recover from their illnesses. Children and adolescents are another demographic. In Creek County specifically, over 10,000 adults are in need of mental health treatment, but only 1,000 are being served. This creates a treatment gap in healthcare of about 82%. Children aged 0-17 are a little better off, with around 3,361 in need of treatment, 1,756 being treated, and a gap of 47.8%.  

Fortunately, Sapulpa has CREOKS Behavioral Health Services. CREOKS “is the largest non-profit mental health and substance abuse provider in Oklahoma who is certified by the ODMHSAS and is accredited by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) International,” says their Vice President of Communications, Amber Gutierrez.  

In 1980, a group of professionals and local citizens from Okmulgee, Creek, and Okfuskee Counties collaborated to form the Tri-County Health Team in order to address the mental health needs in their respective counties. Their agenda was to provide and promote mental health services to those without health insurance or private funds. The corporation would be called “CREOKS,” which is an acronym formed from the names of these first three counties. A few months after establishing the organization, CREOKS opened its first location in Okmulgee. Clinics in Sapulpa and Okemah opened shortly thereafter. Currently CREOKS has 22 clinics in approximately 45 counties and over 300 communities in Eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas.

CREOKS offers quality outpatient behavioral health, substance abuse, and social services for children, adolescents, and adults. This is provided through individual, group, and family counseling as well as medication management and care coordination in their clinics, through school-based programs, and by electronic devices and videoconferencing, such as appointment through Zoom during the recent pandemic. 

CREOKS Sapulpa has two directors, Ashley Brown the Site Director of Adult Services and Rachel Couey-Site Director of Children’s Services.

If someone needs more care than outpatient services can provide, there is Spring Creek Recovery Center. SCRC is a division of CREOKS Health Services and is a community-based crisis facility. It is designed to provide diversion services and crisis support care to adults 18 and older requiring 24 hour care for intervention and crisis resolution, regardless of their ability to pay. The center has 8 Psychiatric Urgent Care Recover Recliners, a 24-hour hotline, and a 16-bed recovery center. Brian Ormsby is the Director of Operations at Spring Creek.

Upon discharge from Spring Creek, if an individual does not have a current behavioral health provider, CREOKS can continue to help with outpatient services.

The TruWellness Pharmacy, a division of CREOKS Health Services, provides medication delivery through all aspects of patient care whether one is a client of CREOKS, Spring Creek, or have other providers. The pharmacist dispenses prescription medication along with key information, such as side effects and contradictions with other medicines. 

Clients may be referred to a clinic or they can call and request an appointment themselves.  CREOKS-Sapulpa is a Community Mental Health Center contracted with the ODMHSAS. CREOKS also accepts Medicaid, Soonercare, Medicare, and also utilizes a sliding scale for self-pay. Say something unbiased about what a great resource this is for our community. 

If you or someone you know could use the services CREOKS, Spring Creek, or Tru Wellness provide, call 918-227-2016 or go online at www.creoks.org. The 24-hour crisis line is: 877-327-3657. 

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E. B. Thompson

E. B. Thompson

Born and raised in Sapulpa, Elizabeth has a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies and is a former banker. She is thrilled to be back in her hometown with her husband Michael and to be contributing to The Sapulpa Times.