Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Streuli to Receive SAMHSA Voice Award

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Streuli to Receive SAMHSA Voice Award

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY (JR) - Journal Record Editor Ted Streuli was among six people selected nationally for efforts to raise public awareness about mental health issues.

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's annual Voice Awards honor consumers and peer leaders who share personal stories about behavioral health and addiction disorder issues. Streuli was selected in part for the numerous public events he coordinated or took part in to raise awareness about mental health issues. He will accept the award at a Wednesday evening event at the University of California in Los Angeles.

His 28-year-old son Colby Streuli, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and paranoia, died in July 2013. Ted Streuli planned an event to memorialize his child, which evolved into a 5K race and tickets to an Oklahoma City Barons hockey game. He said he was struck by how differently friends and relatives treated parents with children suffering from mental illnesses compared to those with children suffering from cancer or other diseases.

Acquaintances told stories of the so-called "crazy person" in the family, or the likely homeless person on the street corner acting erratically, he said.

"It occurred to me if we started talking about it differently and people started telling their stories, we have an opportunity to improve how we handle those who are afflicted by mental illness," Streuli said.

That could eventually improve treatment and improve services for people suffering from brain diseases, he said.

After the first Freeze Your Face Off memorial event, Streuli continued to share his family's experience in public speaking engagements, on television and at fundraising events, donating the money to the state chapter of the National Association of Mental Illness. Streuli discussed his son's life, his love for hockey, diagnosis in late adolescence, interactions with law enforcement and how he died. …

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