Operation Reindeer: Helping treat mental illness
The Mental Health Association of Central Oklahoma does a tremendous job informing folks about the importance of mental health and ways to get help if needed. Here are some startling facts from their website:
- Every year one out of every four persons experiences some kind of challenge to his or her mental health.
- In the U.S., roughly one young person age 24 or younger dies of suicide every two hours.
- In Oklahoma, suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people 15-24 years old.
- 90% percent of teenagers who die by suicide suffer from a treatable mental illness.
- In Oklahoma, each year 8% of our residents are estimated to have had a Major Depressive Episode.
- 25% percent of Oklahoma’s 3.6 million residents has some form of mental illness and 11.4% of the population - about 420,000 individuals - are considered to have a serious mental illness.
Pretty eye-opening, isn't it?
So... What can you do to help? For the last 60 years, the organization has conducted Operation Reindeer. This is a way to help people who are in treatment during the holidays. From now until the week before Christmas, the staff at the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma will be collecting items to be used as stocking stuffers. Anything from hygeine products (think about all those little shampoo and lotion bottles you grab from the hotel when you're travelling) to winter accessories and small children's toys. Whatever you can spare, these folks will be happy to include.
Donations may be dropped off at the association's office, 2800 NW 36th St., Suite 104, Oklahoma City, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. After-hours deliveries can be scheduled by calling (405) 943-3700.
Posted on Fri, September 9, 2011