Consumer Watch: Mental Illness Awareness Week, free events to get help

Mental Illness Awareness Week is a time to better understand mental health issues and reach out for information and help (KOKH).

It is Mental Illness Awareness Week, and non-profit groups in Oklahoma are fighting to end the stigma.

Oklahoma's continued budget problems mean increasingly limited mental health care access. Now, non-profit groups are trying to catch those Oklahomans who are being left behind. For the next week NAMI Oklahoma pushes mental health needs front and center in our state.

Thousands of low-income Oklahomans suffering from mental illness, and their families, are struggling from lack of access. Mental Illness Awareness Week in an opportunity for non-profit groups to say, you can still get help.

“The programs of Mental Illness Awareness week are designed to promote community awareness and discussion in an effort to end stigma, and advocate for recovery and treatment,” Brandon Pettit, NAMI executive director.

From a performance by violinist Kyle Dillingham, to vigils and, information booths, getting information can happen by just taking the first step, and asking questions.

“A lot of times, it is simply just listening to a family member's struggles, and all the different things they have tried that haven't worked, and encouraging them with some new fresh resources, and providing them information to our support groups as well,” says Pettit.

There will be events throughout the entire week-- many of them free you can click here for full details. NAMI Oklahoma’s help line is 1-800-583-1264. Family members or people who feel they don't know where to turn can call and get some answers.

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