Mary Giliberti, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Traci Cook, executive director of NAMI Oklahoma today issued the following joint statement about the death of Oklahoma Commissioner of Labor Mark Costello:
“NAMI extends its condolences to Mark Costello’s family. We share the sadness of all those in the community who loved and respected him.
NAMI is an organization of individuals and families who themselves have been deeply affected by mental illness. Most individuals living with mental illness are not violent, but when substance abuse is also present or treatment is not available, risks can increase.
Mental illness can involve many challenges, both for individuals struggling with its effects and for families as a whole. There is no one solution. Effective treatment and recovery often require multiple services and supports from both the private and public health care systems. In some cases, coordination with the criminal justice or other systems also is required.
Every family needs education and support in navigating an often fragmented, confusing system that does not provide a needed continuum of care. We need leaders both in government and the private sector to seek innovative solutions that can help prevent these kinds of tragedies.”
According to several media sources, Costello’s son has a history of suffering from mental illness.