Chief Communications Officer
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
National 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
Heath Holt Hayes resides in Oklahoma City and serves as the Chief Communications Officer for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Heath’s responsibilities are focused on leading a cross-functional team engaged with strategic initiatives that include policy implementation, program development, and service delivery, as well as community organizing, governmental affairs, and public relations. Heath is a nationally recognized leader helping others embrace lived experience with mental health and has successfully integrated recovery-oriented, holistic, and person-driven continuums of care at the local, state, and national levels.
In addition, Heath is a member of the American Psychiatric Association’s Policy Advisory Board, Co-Chairs the National Association State Mental Health Program Directors’ Division of Recovery Support Services and is alumni of the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Addressing Health Disparities Leadership program. Heath received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma and several graduate degrees from the University of Oklahoma in Human Relations, Administrative Leadership, and a Women’s and Gender Studies.
988 is a direct, three-digit line to trained behavioral health professionals that can open the door for all Oklahomans to seek the help they need, while sending the message that healing, hope and help are happening every day. The Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to establish 988 and turns it on nationally July 1, 2022. 988 is the first step to a multi-level crisis response.
Brenda has experience at the highest levels in Washington, DC, European diplomatic relations and with Fortune 500 companies.
She served as a writer in The White House West Wing during President Ronald Reagan’s administration, who later appointed her to the Foreign Service. While at the U.S. Department of State, she served as the American Embassy in Switzerland, coordinating diplomatic events and developing public outreach initiatives. During President George H.W. Bush’s term, Brenda served on a Presidential Commission that advised the President on foreign aid structure.
After 15 years in Washington, DC, and Europe, Brenda became Vice President of Public Relations for one of the largest advertising agencies in the southwest where she managed campaigns for Six Flags parks and several Fortune 500 companies.
Since establishing Jones PR in 2001, the firm has won a Gold Lion Award at the Cannes, France, International Festival of Creativity and Silver and Bronze Anvil Awards by Public Relations Society of America in New York. She was honored with the Paul E. Dannelly Harmony Award for her achievements in advancing the public relations industry.
Brenda has served on the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber board of directors and as a Vice Chair. Her passion for growing the aerospace industry inspired formation of the Oklahoma Aerospace Forum.