We create public awareness and educate Oklahomans about the prevention, identification, and treatment of mental illness through multiple channels, including workplace and community education events, health fairs, speaking engagements, trainings and literature distribution, along with vigorous media outreach and social media.
We also provide continuing education opportunities to professionals involved in the assessment and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. Suicide prevention efforts, including awareness and trainings through area businesses, congregations, and the community, are offered jointly with the Association’s Outreach and Prevention Services program.
Strong, well-established relationships with area treatment providers and a partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services help us engage area professionals in education efforts. We also promote our trainings directly to people who have expressed an interest, as well as through traditional media avenues and other marketing efforts.
We are routinely contacted by workplace settings, schools, faith communities and others seeking up-to-date, best practice information regarding mental health, homelessness, criminal justice reform and addiction issues. People contact us routinely after hearing about our various educational and communications efforts, particularly after a media story is published or aired, out of their desire to better understand what is going on with themselves, family members, friends, and co-workers.
The Association offers community and professional continuing education opportunities, with an emphasis on building awareness and professional skills, including exposure to emerging knowledge, best practices and professional ethics.
Our professional continuing education events teach participants new skills and help them stay informed about mental health research and best-practice information.
Outreach to the faith community through our annual Faith & Mental Health event educates gatekeepers and provides resources and tools they can use when they suspect a person might be struggling with a mental illness.
The Association’s annual Zarrow Mental Health Symposium is considered one of the premier behavioral health conferences in the region. It provides a unique opportunity to bring together behavioral health and medical professionals, alongside advocates, individuals impacted by mental illness and/or addictions, and their family members.
Additionally, the Association is considered a go-to media resource for information pertaining to a variety of issues related to mental illness, addiction, criminal justice reform and homelessness, and as such, is able to help shape public perceptions and address stigma.
Community outreach and education play critical roles in increased public awareness of mental illnesses, recovery efforts and in the reduction of stigma. The Association supports the local community through a variety of educational efforts geared toward individuals, families, schools and professionals. We also distribute free literature, attend community health fairs and provide speakers.