Oklahoma Mental Health Policy Fellowship

The Oklahoma Policy Institute seeks to improve access to quality, evidence-based mental health and addiction services in Tulsa. This goal will be accomplished in part through the Oklahoma Mental Health Policy Fellowship, a two-year, full-time, paid program aimed at preparing a cohort of early-career professionals to be highly competent advocates for needed policy reforms in their community, state, and workplace. Seed funding for this effort is provided by The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation.

What are the components of the Fellowship?

Each policy fellow is assigned to a mentor, a well-recognized mental health professional with a record of successful advocacy for mental health and addiction policies. A course of study is designed to meet the unique needs of each fellow, aimed at helping them gain the knowledge and practical experiences to be an effective policy advocate. Professionals at the Oklahoma Policy Institute provide tutoring and guided learning experiences on policy research and advocacy as well. Fellows actively participate in their curriculum, involving experiential learning, one-on-one conversations, policy research and analysis, project development and implementation, guided self-study, and advocacy practice in the public and private sectors. Some classroom coursework may be provided by local universities. Opportunities also include interactions with local, state, and national experts and leaders in policy and lawmaking.

Who are the fellows?

Fellows are early-career professionals who have completed a degree program no more than two years prior to the time of application. They are selected through a competitive application process. Preference is given to those applicants who have completed a graduate or professional degree. Fellows are derived from a wide range of disciplines including but not limited to: education, psychology, counseling, law, business, social work, nursing, health care policy and others.

Prior to joining the program, fellows must have demonstrated their interest in mental health or addiction issues, or policy advocacy through their studies, professional work, and/or volunteer service. Fellows must commit to the two-year fellowship and exhibit an intent to work in the Tulsa area or elsewhere in Oklahoma upon completion of the program.

Fellows are employees of the Oklahoma Policy Institute with a $45,000 annual salary. OK Policy offers excellent benefits, including health insurance, dental insurance, retirement, and generous paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays.

2018-2020 Mental Health Policy Fellows

Maggie den Harder

Margaret (Maggie) den Harder obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Theology from Seattle Pacific University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. Originally from the Pacific Northwest area of Washington state, Maggie has called Tulsa home for the past 8 years. Since living in Tulsa, Maggie has worked in the legal field, higher education administration, and the nonprofit sector as well as actively volunteering in the community. Maggie also recently spent time at the City of Tulsa as a consultant and wrote the content for Resilient Tulsa, an action-oriented strategy designed to better equity in Tulsa. Through her work, community involvement, and personal experiences, Maggie is interested in the intersection of the law and mental health and addiction treatment issues, preventative and diversion programs, and maternal mental health, particularly post-partum depression and post-partum psychosis. While working at Oklahoma Policy Institute as a research intern, Maggie further developed an interest in family dynamics and stability, economic security-related stress, and intergenerational trauma.

Brittany Hayes

Brittany Hayes is a licensed attorney, having graduated with highest honor from the University of Tulsa College of Law in May of 2018. Brittany earned her Bachelors of Science in Political Science from Oklahoma State University in May of 2011 before teaching history and coaching debate at Charles Page High School in Sand Springs. Brittany’s passion for policy work and advocacy reignited while working with the Community Advocacy Clinic, Immigrant Rights Project, and Tulsa County Public Defender’s Office. Her research and policy interests include mental health, criminal justice, education, and the problems at the intersection of all three areas.

Who is the contact for more information?

Questions regarding the fellowship may be directed to: Lauren Turner, Fellowship Coordinator, lturner@okpolicy.org or (918) 794-3944