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Art Show and Poster Contest Spurred to Support Mental Illness in Oklahoma


By Pam Paul

The City Sentinel Staff

The Oklahoma Mental Health Consumer Council (OMHCC) officials said they will hold their First Annual Art Show & Fundraiser on August 19, 2011 from 4-10pm. It will raise money to aid those with mental illness through empowering, advocating, and fostering self- determination through systemic change.

“Because a vast majority of individuals affected by mental illness use art as an outlet to express themselves, we felt the art show was the perfect opportunity for our participants to showcase their work alongside those unaffected by mental illness,” explained Danita Gaut, Outreach Coordinator for OMHCC. Daut continued, “We also wanted to get the more involved by holding the open Art Show Poster Contest which we believe will add excitement and creative flare to the whole experience.”


The Poster Contest is open to the public and the details are as follows-

  • Each graphic entry is $10.00
  • The deadline will be August 1, 2011
  • All proceeds go to support the OMHCC and the Art Show event.


The Winner will receive:

  • $500 Cash Prize
  • Art will be used for Show poster
  • Free booth space at Art Show


The Art Show will be on Aug. 19, from 6-10 pm at 1100 N. Broadway, Oklahoma City. Both the contest and the art show are open for all and not just limited to those with, or working with mental illness. Refreshments will be available at the event.

Organizers of the show expect to host about 40 artists. Currently, the mediums represented are acrylic and oil paint and photography. All artists are encouraged to join the show. For further information on the Art Show, please contact, Danita Gaut at 405-923-4224 or by e-mail at [email protected]

The mental illness crisis is real. The World Health Organization has reported that four of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US and other developed countries are mental disorders. By 2020, Major Depressive illness will be the leading cause of disability in the world for women and children. Statistics also show that Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of severe mental illness per capita in the nation and is currently among the bottom five states in spending for mental health services.

“OMHCC is excited about our work to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues in our community. One out of every four Americans will experience a form of mental illness during their lifetime. With cuts to services it is more important than ever that we all become involved,” stated Shae Leggett, Executive Director of OMHCC.

The group promotes the Key Leadership Academy, advocacy for the elderly, women, families, crisis calls, and referrals for individuals who have mental or co-occurring issues. OMHCC relies on grants and donations to remain operational. Learn more at

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