"I lost my husband in a very tragic and horrific manner," - Cath - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

"I lost my husband in a very tragic and horrific manner," - Cathy Costello speaks on mental health tragedy

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- May is mental health month and in observance, the Great Plains Republican Women welcomed Cathy Costello to speak at their annual meeting.

Cathy Costello is the widow of late Oklahoma Labor Commissioner, Mark Costello.

On Thursday, she shared her story and her son's battle with mental illness that she says led to him stabbing his father to death.

Christian Costello is charged with first-degree murder in his father's death, and is currently in a state mental institution.

"I lost my husband in a very tragic and horrific manner in front of me,” said Cathy Costello.

She was reminded of the night of her husband's passing August 23, 2015, while sharing her story at the Great Plains Republican Women 10th anniversary meeting.

Cathy and Mark Costello were married for nearly 34 years.

She said she and her husband didn't suspect anything was wrong with their son Christian until they noticed signs of him talking to himself at 10 years old.

"Our oldest son has suffered with and diagnosed with mental illness specifically
schizoaffective disorder with psychosis. Which is a combination of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia."

Together over the years she and her husband worked diligently to help Christian stay on his medication.

There were also periods where their son was hospitalized.

"We were at a public restaurant and he stabbed my husband to death in a psychotic break because he was paranoid that he was going to arrest him that he was part of the FBI,” said Cathy.

And although Christian is now at a forensic center in Vinita, Oklahoma receiving treatment for mental illness she said her mission in life is to work through the trauma of her husband's death and raise awareness and advocacy for mental illness.

"Oklahoma is the second worst state in the United States for mental illness and we remain for decades are funding remains,” said Cathy. “So, we need to do something to help the one in four Oklahomans that suffer from mental illness."

She encouraged those that aren't familiar with the various forms of mental illness to get informed.

"If our citizens aren't well in mind, body and spirit everything else is second,” said Cathy. “So, I think it should be a focus in the state of Oklahoma to work toward providing services to people with mental illness."

For more on Cathy Costello's story you can visit her website here.

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