The Norman Transcript


October 10, 2012

Removing the stigma from mental health issues



According to the mayor’s proclamation, serious mental illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, severe anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder and posttraumatic stress disorders affect one in every four people annually.

Scientific research is producing breakthroughs making serious mental illness a highly treatable disease, resulting in more effective treatments to allow people to reclaim full and productive lives.

Mental Illness Awareness Week is one means of educating the public to help eliminate misunderstandings and the stigma often imposed on those who suffer from mental illness. Numerous agencies in Norman work together to ensure those dealing with mental illness have the resources needed to live a productive life.

Legacy Park becoming reality: In other city business, during the city council’s study session, city attorney Jeff Bryant made a presentation on the University North Park Tax Increment Finance District.

“We have received the deed and the final plat for Legacy Park from the developer,” Bryant said.

Bids for the park will be let in November, and construction is expected to begin the first of year. Other work, including an extension of the frontage road, will continue, as will intersection improvements through the TIF district.

There is also money set aside for an Economic Development Fund of $8.25 million, which is “intended to foster special employment opportunities,” Bryant said.

The Norman Economic Development Coalition received a $2.5 million federal grant from the Economic Development Administration in September and is buying more acreage for the industrial park area of the TIF project.

While the official announcement has not been made, reports of a possible aerospace manufacturer locating in the TIF district’s industrial area has been widely discussed.

Strategic Water Supply: Council members also heard from John Rehring, Carollo Engineers vice president and project manager of Norman’s 2060 Strategic Water Supply Plan, which is in the process of looking at projected long-range demands within the Norman water service area.

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