Oklahoma commissioner on mental health, substance abuse services to depart

By: - November 7, 2023 4:02 pm

Commissioner Carrie Slatton-Hodges announced she will leave her position in Oklahoma for a national role at the end of this year. (Photo provided)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s top mental health official announced Tuesday that she plans to step down.

Commissioner Carrie Slatton-Hodges said she will leave the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for a national position. Her final day on the job will be Dec. 31.

Slatton-Hodges, a longtime licensed professional counselor, has led the agency since 2020. She spearheaded state efforts that focused on prevention, treatment and recovery for Oklahomans suffering from mental illness and addiction.

“It has been an absolute honor to serve the people of Oklahoma in this capacity,” she stated in a press release. “I am proud of the work we have accomplished, and I leave knowing that the department will continue to provide critical services to those in need.”

Slatton-Hodges said her commitment to mental health advocacy “remains steadfast.” She accepted a position with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, an organization where she served on the board of directors.

The move is a “significant step in her career progression” and will allow her to help shape national mental health policy, the release said.

Gov. Kevin Stitt appointed her to the commissioner position. He said Slatton-Hodges has been instrumental in advancing mental health and substance abuse services in the state.

“Her leadership, dedication and compassion have truly made a difference in the lives of thousands of Oklahomans,” Stitt said in a statement. “We wish her the very best in her future endeavors.”

The Governor’s Office did not respond to a request for comment about Stitt’s plans to appoint Slatton-Hodges’ replacement.



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Nuria Martinez-Keel
Nuria Martinez-Keel

Nuria Martinez-Keel covers education for Oklahoma Voice. She worked in newspapers for six years, more than four of which she spent at The Oklahoman covering education and courts. Nuria is an Oklahoma State University graduate.