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OKC Mayor’s Veteran Support Coalition hosts series of resource fairs for veterans and military families
The Oklahoma City Mayor’s Veteran Support Coalition, a collaborative group of community and government organizations, will host a series of resource fairs for service members, veterans and military families on the third Friday of each month from Sept. 20 through March 2020.
The OKC Military & Veterans Resource Fair will have numerous services on-site for former and current service members in the armed forces (active duty and reserves) and National Guard.
This come-and-go event is free and will feature a variety of veterans' groups from around the state, offering resources and support materials. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20 in rooms 114 and 123 of the Metro Technology Center Economic Development Center, 1700 Springlake Drive.
“OKC’s military community and our veterans are an essential part of our city’s fabric,” said Mayor David Holt. “I’m grateful for the work that the Mayor’s Veteran Support Coalition has done and continues to do to help bring resources directly to some of the bravest people in our community. I encourage everyone to support this resource fair and spread the word, especially to our veterans.”
The Oklahoma City Mayor’s Veteran Support Coalition was created from the Mayor’s Challenge Program to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans and their Families by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Mayor David Holt accepted this challenge soon after taking office in 2018 and has worked to convene an interagency team with the state Department of Veteran Affairs, state Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, as well as local nonprofits and other federal and state government agencies. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum also accepted the same challenge, and numerous efforts are underway in the City of Tulsa.
The suicide rate among veterans in Oklahoma, like the rate among veterans nationwide, is much higher than the overall national suicide rate, according to 2016 data from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
“The purpose of coalition, gathered with numerous community experts on veteran affairs and mental health, is to support veterans and military families in our Oklahoma City communities,” said J.D. Baker, Special Assistant to Mayor Holt and the coalition’s co-leader, “We have found that the missing link, when it comes to preventing risks of mental illness, is connectedness. Through the resource fair, we are connecting these families to educational coaches and opportunities, the state and federal veteran affairs agencies, local advocacy groups, healthcare providers, recreation sport leaders and much more, so they know that their presence in our community is valued and we all are here to help and support them.”
The following organizations will be on-site:
- OK Dept. of Veterans Affairs
- HOPE Community Services, Inc.
- UCO CARES
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Oklahoma
- OKC VA Suicide Prevention Team
- Metro Technology Center
- Redlands Community College
- Military OneSource
- Oklahoma National Guard Personal Finance Counselor
- TRICARE Humana
- Vitamin Cottage Natural Food Markets
- INTEGRIS Health
- OKC Vet Center
- Citizen Soldier for Life
- Army Recruiting Battalion
- OKC VA Healthcare System
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
- Veterans Corner
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