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News Archives

Talking to Kids About Tragedy

Children don’t think exactly like adults. When discussing this week’s shooting at an Ohio high school, deadly severe storms or other tragedies with children, it’s important to take special care. Carrie Little, program coordinator/educator at Family & Children’s Services, has tips to help parents talk to their children about tragedy.





Need professional help in dealing with trauma in your child’s life? We can help. Click here to learn more about trauma treatment services at Family & Children’s Services.

New Ideas in Health Care Benefit Clients, Entire Community – By Dianne Hughes, Program Director, Case Management and Special Projects

We hear a lot these days about the poor state of health in Oklahoma as compared to the rest of the nation. Perhaps you’ve also heard the news that people diagnosed with a serious mental illness are at a higher risk of premature death. Earlier this month, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Health Resources Services Administration Center for Integrated Health Solutions explained that these premature deaths are “largely due to complications from untreated, preventable chronic illnesses like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, which are aggravated by poverty-driven health choices, like poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and smoking.”

We at Family & Children’s Services are acutely aware of this problem. Many of our clients don’t have a regular medical doctor. They use the emergency room for their health care or, sadly, forgo needed medical attention. Through a partnership with the George Kaiser Family Foundation and Morton Comprehensive Health Services, Family & Children’s Services took a bold step to help improve the health of our clients by opening a medical clinic in October 2011 inside the Sarah & John Graves Center.  

Currently, the clinic operates one day a week and is available for adults receiving mental health services from Family & Children’s Services. Clinic patients may also receive free medication as prescribed by a Morton medical provider. Patients receive treatment for colds and other minor complaints and serious, chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

So, can one day a week really help? By mid-February, 281 clients had been seen during the clinic’s 16 operating days. Over 70 percent of those served said they didn’t have a primary care physician and, instead, used to visit hospital emergency rooms for care. More than 20 percent didn’t seek care when sick. But now, these individuals have a resource for getting treatment and, just as important, managing their wellness.

The direct impact on our clients and their loved ones is evident. However, our community as a whole benefits, too, through less crowded emergency rooms and lower health care costs. 

Mental Illness Impacts 1 in 5 Americans, report shows

A new national report reveals that 45.9 million American adults aged 18 or older, or 20 percent of this age group, experienced mental illness in the past year. The rate of mental illness was more than twice as high among those aged 18 to 25 (29.9 percent) than among those aged 50 and older (14.3 percent). Adult women were also more likely than men to have experienced mental illness in the past year (23 percent versus 16.8 percent).


To read the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s full news release on the study, click here.

Fun & Free Time Together as a Family

Too often, parents find themselves caught in a game of “gimme” with their children – as in, “Gimme this, Mom.” or “Dad, can you gimme a new video game?” However, how much money you spend on your kids matters less than how much time you spend with them.

Tulsa World Blogger Natalie Mikles has some fantasic ideas for spending time together as a family free or on the cheap. We have a few other suggestions:

Have a board game night. Younger children can be paired up with older kids or parents. Reading game cards reinforces language skills, and moving the pawn and handling money helps with mathematics.

Channel Scheherezade, the fabled Persian storyteller. She told a story that lasted 1,001 nights, ending each night’s session on a suspenseful note. Let every member of the family have an opportunity to tell part of the story you create together.

Go dancing without the stars. Turn on some music and cut a rug on your own rug. It’s a great way to get some exercise and is likely to leave everyone giggling.

Stage your own “Chopped” challenge. Set out an array of motley ingredients, start a timer and tell your little chef to create a culinary masterpiece. Plan to be on hand to help younger children with cutting and any cooking required, but let their creativity guide the final product.



Do Your Part — By Carrie Little, Family Life Education Program Coordinator

“He isn’t even trying anymore.”

“She doesn’t care.”


Sound familiar?  If so, you are not alone.  Many couples go through times when one or both feel that they are the only one “working” on the relationship.  It becomes frustrating to reflect on your relationship and see only those things that you do to make your relationship work.  It can become a habit to focus only on those things that your partner ISN’T doing.  When this habit forms it is likely that other bad habits form in its wake, including bouts of escalation when trying to discuss issues with your partner, or starting sentences that begin with, “You never… ” or “You always… .”

Especially if you have children together, it is important to find ways of relating to one another without damaging your closeness.  One way to begin this process is called “Do Your Part.”  This concept relies greatly on your ability to look closely at your thoughts and actions to bring about change in your relationship.  In other words, in every situation, find a way to do the best you can.  Whether that be choosing not to yell and scream, or choosing to do something nice for your partner even in times of irritation. 

This does not mean you can change your relationship on your own.  It takes two to make a relationship work over time.  However, if both you and your partner begin a daily practice of “Do Your Part,” the need for each to focus on the other’s bad behavior will cease.  This involves trust.  You have to trust that your partner is doing everything he or she can to make your relationship and family life work, and vice versa.  This also involves a lot of respect and kindness, both toward yourself and your partner.

“Do Your Part” can change the tone of your relationship.  You will begin to process events in a different way.  Instead of automatically going toward the one thing your partner did wrong, you will be thinking in “I” statements instead.  Like, “What could I have done to make that conversation better?”  or, “What could I do today to make my relationship stronger?” 


If you would like to learn more about “Do Your Part,” and other concepts and skills to make your relationship strong, Family & Children’s Services offers a free class called Forever. For Real. In this class, couples learn together the skills needed to create a lasting and loving partnership.

Calling All Retailers: Clear Your Racks!

Family & Children’s Services is asking local retailers to clear their racks. The agency’s popular warehouse sale fundraising event is just around the corner – and merchandise is needed!

F&CS will host its ninth annual Abersons & Friends Warehouse Sale on March 28-30, 2012, at its central office, 650 S. Peoria Avenue. Proceeds of the sale will help F&CS provide counseling, treatment and support services to children who’ve been abused, families in crisis and individuals faced with overwhelming problems or mental illness.

Local merchants can support the effort by donating unsold stock – including home décor, housewares; women’s, men’s and children’s clothing; accessories and more – to F&CS. The agency will coordinate pick up from stores. Participating merchants may take a tax deduction for any items they donate, will be listed in promotional materials and – best of all! – will have more room on their racks to display the latest spring merchandise. 

Nearly 35 stores and hundreds of bargain-loving shoppers participated in last year’s Abersons & Friends Warehouse Sale. To get more information or schedule a pick up date, contact Rochelle Dowdell, the F&CS special events coordinator, at 918.560.1115 or

F&CS experts speak at free community forum

TULSA, Okla. — Two Family & Children’s Services mental health professionals spoke Thursday during a women’s forum at Circle Cinema.

The event, hosted by the nonprofit journalism effort Oklahoma Watch, included F&CS’ Roxanne Hinther, who directs the Women in Recovery program, and Dr. Nicole Washington, an F&CS staff psychiatrist. Janet Cizek, co-founder and CEO of the Center for Therapeutic Interventions in Tulsa, also spoke at the forum, which tackled the unique mental health issues women face.

Listen to the forum here:

Hinther, a licensed professional counselor and licensed drug and alcohol counselor, is the clinical director of F&CS’ Women in Recovery program, where she has worked since its birth in 2009. Focusing on nonviolent offenses, WIR is a non-incarceration alternative for mothers facing significant prison sentences in Tulsa County.

Washington,  is a staff psychiatrist at F&CS’ CrisisCare Center, a critically needed 24-hour facility providing psychiatric beds and new crisis respite services in Tulsa. Its services include a 3-5 day Crisis Stabilization unit and a 24-hour Crisis Respite unit, both of which accept Medicaid and Medicare patients.

For more information on F&CS and its services, call 918.587.9471.

F&CS Central Office to close Memorial Day; parenting class canceled

TULSA, Okla. — Family & Children’s Services’ Central Office at 650 S. Peoria Ave. will close Monday for Memorial Day.

That evening’s 1234 Parenting! class is canceled.

We wish our clients, employees and other stakeholders a safe and fun holiday weekend.

Call 918.587.9471 for more information on the closing, hours of operation or other topics.

News on 6 Anchors Test Brainiac Ball Trivia Knowledge

News on 6 anchors LeAnne Taylor, Rich Lenz and Alan Crone were such good sports as we gave them a taste of Brainiac Ball trivia. Family & Children’s Services biggest fundraiser of the year is coming up on May 30, 2015.

Watch the entire segment here

Tables, tickets and Best of Live raffle tickets are still available. For more information, visit the Brainiac Ball website.




Free Relationship Class May 21, 2015

Sign up today for a free relationship class on May 21, 2015.


ForeverForReal NEXT LEVEL 052115

Oklahoma Watch to Hold Forum in Tulsa on Mental Health for Women


The “Oklahoma Watch-Out” forum will be held from 6-7 p.m. Thurs., May 21, at Circle Cinema at 10 S. Lewis Ave. in Tulsa.

Featured guests will be Janet Cizek, Center for Therapeutic Interventions managing partner and CEO; Roxanne Hinther, Women in Recovery clinical director; and Dr. Nicole Washington, Family and Children’s Services psychiatrist.

Oklahoma Watch Executive Editor David Fritze will moderate a discussion about the often unique mental health issues that women face in different life situations – whether incarcerated, suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, or dealing with severe anxiety as a professional or parent.

Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP to and come with questions.

About the Panelists

Janet Cizek

• Janet Cizek co-founded the Center for Therapeutic Interventions (CTI) in 2005, one of the first agencies to be named a certified Comprehensive Community Addiction Recovery Center by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. While Cizek serves as managing partner and CEO of CTI, she continues to provide direct counseling services to clients and their families as a licensed professional counselor and licensed alcohol and drug counselor. Cizek is also the president of Oklahoma Substance Abuse Service Alliance, advocating for treatment providers and consumers to reduce stigma and increase access to care.

Roxanne Hinther


• Roxanne Hinther is the clinical director for Women in Recovery at Family at Children’s Services, a program she has worked in since its inception in 2009. Women in Recovery provides an alternative to incarceration for women facing significant prison sentences in Tulsa County, focusing on nonviolent female offenders with children. Hinther is a licensed professional counselor and licensed alcohol and drug counselor.

Nicole Washington

• Dr. Nicole Washington is a staff psychiatrist at the Crisis Care Center at Family and Children’s Services. Each year the organization serves 110,000 individuals, or one in six Tulsans, struggling with mental illness, addiction and homelessness. Prior to joining Family and Children’s Services, she was the medical director of a program that provides home-based services to those with severe mental illness. Washington serves on the boards of the Mental Health Association Oklahoma and National Alliance of Mental Illness Tulsa chapter.

TulsaPeople Magazine Article “Sad State of Affairs”

Oklahoma ranks poorly in mental health care, but local organizations, like Family & Children’s Services, are working to reverse the statistics. The May issue of TulsaPeople magazine focuses on mental health care in Oklahoma titled “Sad State of Affairs”.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Honors Gail Lapidus for Outstanding Community Service

Family & Children’s Services CEO Gail Lapidus was honored Saturday, May 9 by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority at the Biennial Status of Women Celebration. Lapidus was among 10 honorees who were recognized for their outstanding service to the community. The theme of the program was “The Road to Excellence is Paved with Service”. 2015 Status of Women Honorees-  Nikole Evette Gardner, Ola Johnson, Sa’cha Sells, Carlisha Williams, Nikki Warren, Dion Owens, Dr. Ebony Johnson, Mayme Crawford, Juandalyn Joan Love Bailey and Gail Lapidus.


GL Sigma Rho Award

GL Podium Sigma Rho Award

Tulsa Kids Magazine Profiles Family & Children’s Services Gail Lapidus

“When Gail Lapidus walked through the doors of Family & Children’s Services as a young college graduate, she never imagined she would one day be CEO. That was 40 years ago.”

The May issue of Tulsa Kids magazine sits down with Family & Children’s Services CEO Gail Lapidus to talk about being in the hope business.

Read Tulsa Kids magazine article here

Family & Children’s Services Fundraiser, The White Party, Creates Buzz

The Eighth Annual White Party, benefiting Family & Children’s Services, will be held Friday, May 1, 2015, on the rooftop of The Vault. Sponsors and their guests don all-white attire to dine and dance the night away in Tulsa’s unique Art Deco District while sampling craft cocktails specially made by Tulsa’s premier mixologists. Buy Tickets and VIP Packages Here

Sponsor Dinner

6:00 p.m. Hors d’Oeuvres & Craft Cocktail Hour

Music by Olivia Duhon Trio

7:30 p.m. Dinner Service Begins

8p.m. Mixologist Awards Presented by NewsChannel 8 Anchor Laura Neal

Family & Children’s Services Presentation

8:30 p.m. Desserts in the Tom Tom Room

The White Party No. 8

9:00 p.m. Doors Open for General Admission

DJ Lord Winston

10:00 p.m. Family & Children’s Services Presentation

10:30 p.m. DJ Moody

Midnight Raffle &Twitter Winners Announcements



Channel 8 Good Day Tulsa The White Party

Tulsa World Shaking Things Up: Six Tulsa Bartenders to Watch

TulsaPeople Magazine May Charitable Events Registry (page 86)

Women in Recovery Program Settles Into New Home

Family & Children’s Services Women in Recovery program, which is funded primarily by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, welcomed program partners, funders and supporters to an open house at its new home on Thursday, April 16.

Read the complete Tulsa World article here

Public support of Women in Recovery evident in Tulsa World editorial A New Home for Women in Recovery

Read the Journal Record article here