Media Relations

Texoma Community Center works closely with local media to help reduce stigma surrounding mental illness and raise awareness about the importance of mental health care. As the Local Mental Health and Intellectual and Disabilities Authorities for Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson Counties. Texoma Community Center has knowledge and expertise in mental health care, suicide prevention, and crisis care as well as mental illness, substance use disorder, and intellectual and developmental disabilities for adults and children.

If you would like to request an interview with a Texoma Community Center employee, please contact Dale Jackson, Chief Administrative Officer, at (903) 957-4850 or rjackson@texomacc.org.

Mental Health in the Media

If writing about mental illness, substance use disorder, or intellectual or developmental disabilities, these tips may be helpful. This information is intended to raise awareness among news organizations, journalists, journalism students, and professors on how to improve reporting on mental health issues.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. have one or more diagnosable mental disorders in a given year.
  • An estimated 5 to 7% of adults in the U.S. have a serious mental illness in a given year.
  • Research shows people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than commit violent acts.
  • Mental illness accounts for approximately 3% of the violence committed in the U.S.
  • Recovery from mental illness is possible and the majority of people live successful, productive lives.
  • On average, people with mental illness die 25 years earlier than others, and they die from chronic disease, not a mental illness.
  • Stigma contributes to social isolation and discrimination and can discourage people from seeking treatment.

Referrals

Provide helpful information for how to get more information or help for a mental health issue. Stories in the media can raise issues for people who may need help but haven’t reached out. Help them connect to the help they need by providing contact information for hotlines and websites.

Crisis Hotline
877-277-2226

Behavioral Health Services
Texoma Community Center
315 W. McLain, Sherman, TX 75092

Hours:
Monday – Friday, 8am to 5pm with flexible hours available

Open Intake:
​By appointment only because of the pandemic. Please call to make an appointment.

Language

Person-first language is a best practice (being mindful of a person’s disability). For example, say “Bob is a person living with mental illness” rather than “Bob is mentally ill”. Bob is a person who happens to have a mental illness, he is not his mental illness.

Sensitivities

Write with the awareness that people with mental illness face prejudice and discrimination. Avoid using stereotypical words or phrases in describing people with mental illness. Be sensitive when using photographs for stories involving mental health issues. When possible, emphasize that treatment is available and effective, recovery happens and prevention works.