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'Stomp Out the Stigma' set Monday

Bringing awareness to mental illness and its impact on individuals and family members will be the focus of "Stomp Out the Stigma" Monday at Cameron University.

The presentation by the Department of Psychology will be at 6:30 p.m. in the McCasland Ballroom and is open to the public at no charge.

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 broad spectrum of mental illness is widely misunderstood and, unfortunately, carries a negative connotation," said Mary Dzindolet, chair of the 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," Magourik said. "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 compulsive behaviors, including checking, collecting and counting. Randell's condition was so severe that they led to the loss of his first high school job. 

The Lawton Constitution

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