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Governor Stitt visited mental health clinic in Lawton

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - A clinic in Lawton was able to celebrate their official grand opening and one year anniversary with Governor Kevin Stitt.

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Red Rock serves veterans and active duty servicemembers who are dealing with mental health issues along with their families.

Governor Stitt said across the country this organization has opened up 19 mental health clinics and is proud to have one in southwest Oklahoma.

He said we have 300,000 service members living in Oklahoma, so this is a big deal.

“One of my initiatives is really to reach out to our folks who serve our country so bravely, and we have some mental health issues in America and in Oklahoma as well. We have veteran suicide. One of my initiatives is to reduce that,” Stitt said.

Ryan Pitts, who is a Medal of Honor Recipient, spoke at the celebration and said he suffered from depression.

His biggest regret was not seeking help soon enough.

So, he encourages others to not wait.

“If you’re a veteran thinking about asking for help don’t think about it as just yourself, you taking that step and getting the help, getting back to better, but then being able to talk about it and encourage others to go do it. You’re not only saving your life, but you’re saying the life of others. What you’re doing for yourself could trickle down and affect your battle buddies, your brothers, and sisters that also wear uniforms,” Pitts said.

Clinic Director Amista Chambers said since the clinic opened a year ago, they’ve already helped over 300 service members.

“It’s wonderful, it’s so exciting that we come here and this community has embraced it, and people are willing to come in to see what we can offer and how we can help,” Chambers said.

Governor Stitt said after he toured the building, he’s pleased with how it’s being used to serve.

“One thing that caught my eye was the full families, so this is not just for service members; this is also the spouses. They had play areas for the kids to kind of bring some services to them and let them know what mom and dad are dealing with. I thought that was really interesting kind of making it safe for the kids as well,” Stitt said.

The clinic also offers telehealth which allows the center to serve veterans and active duty service members across the state.

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