Cameron University invites community members to “Stomp Out The Stigma” during mental health awareness presentation

The Cameron University Department of Psychology is pleased to present “Stomp Out The Stigma,” a presentation aimed at bringing awareness to mental illness and how it impacts those who deal with a chronic mental illness as well as family members. Speakers will include an individual who lives with a mental illness, the parent of someone living with a mental illness, and a representative from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  The event takes place on Monday, April 2, at 6:30 p.m. in the McCasland Ballroom and is open to the public at no charge.

“The broad spectrum of mental illness is widely misunderstood and, unfortunately, carries a negative connotation,” says Dr. Mary Dzindolet, Chair, Department of Psychology. “Treatment is available, yet many individuals decline to seek treatment due to the stigma that is too frequently associated with mental illness. We hope to present a realistic perspective about mental health illnesses and how they impact the lives of those afflicted and their loved ones.”

Panelists will include Linda Magourik, President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Southwest Oklahoma; Adam Randell, Assistant Professor of Psychology; Sally Holmes; and Nadine Lewis.

A 20-year member of NAMI, Magourik first began educating herself about mental illness when a family member was diagnosed with ADHD at an early age. “I found a wealth of information when I took a class with NAMI for caregivers of individuals living with mental illness,” she says. “Then I began to help others to find education, resources and to advocate for people living with mental illness.”

Randell was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at the age of 16. At the time, he would spend on average 15 to 30 minutes washing and rewashing his hands. Over time his condition evolved to include other types of compulsory behaviors, including checking, collecting, and counting. Randell’s condition was so severe that they led to the loss of his first high school job. After prescribed medicines failed to help with his condition, he took it upon himself to manage his condition on his own. He reduced his symptoms by learning how to counteract the unwelcome obsessive thoughts without employing compulsory behavior. Principally, he managed his symptoms using thought stopping and distraction. After years of symptom management and a lot of self-talk, he was able to reduce the severity of his symptoms to the point that they most likely would no longer be diagnosable as they do not interfere with day-to-day functions.

Holmes will speak as a mother of an adult living with a mental health issue. She is active in NAMI and will share her experience in a class called Family-to-Family.

Lewis will speak as an adult living with mental illness.

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March 28, 2018