This post was sponsored by Austin Oaks Hospital in recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week, to share free resources available to Austin families.
The City of Austin has temporarily banned public gatherings. Please stay home. The Free Fun in Austin calendar is only for live digital events at this time.
In 1990, the U.S. Congress declared the first full week of October to be Mental Illness Awareness Week, in support of efforts by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to bring understanding and education to others. This year, for the 25th anniversary, the theme of Mental Illness Awareness Week revolves around building a movement through the new StigmaFree initiative.
From the NAMI website:
Being Stigma Free means learning about and educating others on mental illness, focusing on connecting with people to see each other as individuals and not a diagnosis, and most importantly, taking action on mental health issues and taking the StigmaFree pledge. The hashtag for the theme is #IAmStigmaFree.
Austin Oaks Hospital offers mental health services to children, adolescents and adults. Their team of experienced mental health professionals is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide free assessment and help determine appropriate treatment options. In addition to its mental health services for children and adults in need, Austin Oaks also provides free parenting classes to the community on topics ranging from setting limits with kids to emotional warning signs in children and teens to LGBTQ awareness and more. Austin Oaks also works collaboratively with local organizations, schools, police departments, large companies, and other local agencies to provide free training on mental health issues and topics relevant to their agencies.
Free Parenting Classes
Upcoming Parenting Classes at Austin Oaks include:
- Thursday, Oct. 15, 6:30–7:30 PM — Understanding Self-Injurious Behaviors
- Thursday, Nov. 19, 6:30–7:30 PM — Holiday Stressors and Healthy Ways to Deal with the Holidays – Part I
- Thursday, Dec. 17, 6:30–7:30 PM – Holiday Stressors and Healthy Ways to Deal with the Holidays – Part II
Free Continuing Education Units (CEU)
Upcoming CEU Presentations at Austin Oaks include:
- Thursday, Oct. 15, 9:30 AM — Identifying, Managing & Treating Self-Injurious Behavior
- Thursday, Nov. 19, , 9:30 AM — Creative Practices Using Music Interventions
- Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, 9:30 AM — Interventions to Relax, Renew and Rejuvenate – Self-Care
- Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, 9:30 AM — Trauma-Informed Care in Classroom
All classes are held at Austin Oaks Hospital (1407 W. Stassney Lane, Austin, 78745). Since space is limited, RSVP to attend either a Parenting class or a CEU Presentation by calling 512-440-4800. For more information, call or email Angelica Reyes at 512-850-7322 / [email protected], or click on these flyer PDFs: Austin Oaks Parenting Classes or Austin Oaks CEU Presentations.
September was Suicide Prevention Month; though it’s October now, suicide is obviously an incredibly serious and ongoing issue, and prevention is a year-round effort to help people in need. Austin Oaks Hospital is doing its part by offering mental health services to children, adolescents and adults, and there are many more local, state and national resources available. If you or someone you care about is at risk for suicide, here is a list of resources for help and support:
- Contact Austin Oaks Hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Texas Suicide Prevention offers a suicide prevention toolkit, complete with prevention, intervention and postvention strategies as well as local and state resources available in Texas
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- The Trevor Project and the It Gets Better Project offer help and support for LGBTQ teens in crisis
- The Veterans Crisis Line offers help for veterans and their families
- The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers a toolkit for school communities that have lost a community member to suicide
- For survivors of suicide — people who have lost loved ones to suicide — there are support groups and other resources available both locally and nationally, including bimonthly support groups at My Healing Place and SOS-Austin and weekly support groups at The Christi Center (all local organizations)
Austin Oaks Hospital also offers its own comprehensive list of resources for people dealing with a wide variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders and more.