Texomaland Crisis Centers: Hope and Healing

Texomaland Crisis Centers exist in the Texomaland cities of Ardmore, Durant, Gainesville, and Sherman. Crisis Centers are established in almost every city, large and small, across the U.S. But what do Crisis Centers actually do?

This article will highlight the four corners of Texomaland’s Crisis Centers. Primarily, Crisis Centers deal with family violence and sexual abuse of women. Crisis Centers are dedicated to breaking the cycle of family and sexual violence through community education while assisting victims in their transition to a more stable and self-sufficient life.

The problem with breaking the cycle of family violence comes with the psychosocial elements of family dynamics. When the woman and mother, if she is the abused, tries to leave her violent environment, that is the most deadly time for her. That is when most women are murdered by their significant others—it is a desperate situation.

The men dictating this violence are just as caught up in the cycle of family violence as the women and mothers trying to protect their children. These men have come from a history of seeing men beating their women in their childhood, or they were raised without fathers. However, that does not give the perpetrators and victims of family violence a pass. It is a two-way street perpetrated by history.

How Does a Woman End Up in a Crisis Center?

Women exposed to abuse and violence, plus fear for their lives and their children’s lives end up calling a Crisis Center. Incidents arose in family violence during the pandemic in states that mandated lockdowns. Ironically, at the same and for the first time in a long time, animal shelters were emptied across the U.S. because humans needed that connection to being alive with something alive that needed them.

Human need is powerful. The stressors of the waning mental health of both partners put a strain on what humans can handle mentally, socially, and economically. This behavior leads to psychiatric emergencies, physical injuries, and sometimes death. Crisis services for behavioral health emergencies may include a wide variety of approaches, and they tend to vary depending on state, county, or community services.

Yet, there are general overall concepts applicable to most crisis programs and their target patient populations. It is obvious that every Crisis Center across the U.S. have the same goals. The main concern of these Crisis Centers is protecting the mental health of the individuals in crisis.

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services umbrellas Texas county Crisis Centers, but there is a deficiency of services due to the overwhelming amount of cases in any given county. Women exposed to abuse and violence, plus fear for their lives and their children’s lives, end up calling a Crisis Center.

Oklahoma Urgent Care and Crisis Centers offer places of stabilization to the community with a no wrong door access to mental health and substance use care. These facilities operate similar to a hospital emergency department that accepts all walk-ins, ambulance, fire, and police drop-offs. 

What Is the Main Priority of Crisis Centers?

The primary concerns of Crisis Centers are psychiatric emergencies. A mental health crisis can surface anywhere—in public, in the home or work environment, or in any number of settings. Crisis Centers are open to more than people experiencing family violence, like senior citizens and drug addicts. But, women and family violence are the first priorities for most centers.

A mental health crisis is a situation in which a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors can put them in jeopardy of harming themselves or others and/or put them at risk of being unable to care for themselves or access food, clothing, and shelter. Trauma does not discriminate.

Ardmore Oklahoma Crisis Centers

Ardmore does not have a non-profit Crisis Center, and only one facility has a 24-hour hotline, the Lighthouse Behavioral Wellness Centers, but this facility is insurance driven and will give you national 800 numbers. Ardmore has the Carter County Health Department Child Guidance which offers individual and family counseling, parenting classes, developmental screening, autism screenings, speech and language screenings, evaluations, and therapy.

The Community Youth Services of Southern Oklahoma in Ardmore offers a residential safe place for children and adolescents, and provides behavioral health outpatient counseling, prevention, and intervention services.

Grayson Crisis Center

The Grayson Crisis Center in Sherman is dedicated to providing a safe haven, crisis intervention, and comprehensive support services to victims of family violence and sexual assault. This organization is dedicated to breaking the cycle of family and sexual violence through community education while assisting victims in their transition to a more stable and self-sufficient life.

The Grayson Crisis Center provides a sexual assault response team, a volunteer program, and a children’s summer program. The Grayson Crisis Center offers an emergency shelter, crisis intervention, counseling, and support services to women and children who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

It facilitates public education about the devastating consequences of domestic violence and sexual assault along with other resources, such as providing anger management classes, batterer intervention services, primary prevention programs to children in local schools, clubs, churches, etc., and offers non-residential services to survivors living in the Grayson County community including support groups, safety planning, and proper referrals.

Gainesville Texas Crisis Center

Abigail’s Arms Cooke County Family Crisis Center's mission is to create a safer future by empowering families and inspiring change in their community through education and awareness. This organization helps victims of family violence, sexual assault, child sexual assault, and other violent crimes. All services are free and confidential.

Child victims of abuse and neglect or children who witness a crime find caring professionals and volunteers dedicated to reducing the trauma and assisting them through their journey. Families find support and resources. Abigail’s Arms Cooke County Family Crisis Center is where small voices can be heard, and the children can find help to begin healing.

Durant Oklahoma Crisis Control Centers, Inc.

The Durant Oklahoma Crisis Control Centers, Inc. offers services and shelter to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Bryan, Johnston, Atoka, and Marshall Counties. It is a nonprofit organization. Following are some testimonials on the Durant Oklahoma Crisis Control Center’s website:

“You’ll be homeless. Is that what you want? You and the kids, homeless?”

“First it was just verbal abuse, ugly name-calling and yelling, then he began to hit, push, and strangle me.”

“He logs into my Facebook account and posts embarrassing pictures of me. Everyone thinks I’m doing it myself and post horrible comments.”

“He convinced me that I couldn’t survive without him and didn’t deserve to live or be loved.”

“I have no one left to turn to. He has isolated me from all my family and friends. It is only him and me.”

How Does a Crisis Center Determine a Crisis?

This is quite a complicated process conducted by professionals in medical and mental health occupations. The most efficient Crisis Centers follow this protocol: Helpline Call, Mobile Crisis Team, Follow-Up Appointments, Integrated Technology, Transportation, and Shelter Facilities. Most Crisis Centers do not have the finances to put this process in place, but they try to assist with all the resources they have available.

Here are yes/no key questions a crisis professional asks when a human asks for help from a crisis center:

  1. Due to their behavioral health conditions, is this individual acutely dangerous to self or others, or unable to care for self?
  2. If the answer to question 1, is not clear, are there concerns that, without prompt intervention, the behavioral health situation could evolve into dangerousness or inability to care for self?
  3. If the answer to question (1) or (2 ) is “yes,” then answer (A) and (B) below.
    A. Is this condition unlikely to be resolved by interventions without the need for a higher level of care?
    B. Even if our interventions can temporarily stabilize the situation, is there a high degree of concern that dangerousness or inability to care for self will return shortly after our contact has ended?
  4. If the answer to (A) or (B) is “yes,” then there is a crisis situation requiring acute external interventions.

Determining dangerousness and/or inability to care for self: The clinician should consider several factors when assessing a patient for dangerousness and ability to care for self.

Familiarity: Is this the first time you have met with this individual, or are they well known to you?

Trust: How certain are you about the veracity of their statements? Do you believe them when they say they will follow through with a plan?

Knowledge of Past Behaviors: What is your understanding of how they have acted when experiencing similar behavioral issues in the past?

History of Dangerousness: Has this person made suicide attempts or become aggressive in the past?

Collateral Opinions: What do family, significant others, co-workers, and caregivers say about the patient’s current behavior and their concerns about these behaviors?


I hope I have brought some light to the plight of people in crisis, whether it be family violence, child neglect or abuse, the mental illness of a relative who cannot be controlled, drug addiction, suicidal ideation, and the important role Crisis Center professionals provide to the people with grave intervention in their lives. Whether the Crisis Center is governance or charity, every professional working a Crisis Center is dedicated to the same goal.

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