Oklahomans working to destigmatize mental health and substance use struggles are being recognized during Dodgers games this season in partnership with Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services


OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Dodgers are partnering with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) this season to help #StrikeOutTheStigma and increase awareness on the topic of mental health and substance use in our community.

The partnership focuses on education, advocacy and support to help destigmatize the connotations that come with mental health and substance use struggles. Oklahomans who are working to do so will be recognized throughout the 2022 Dodgers baseball season.

The third honoree of 2022 is Edie Nayfa, CEO of Catalyst Behavioral Services. Catalyst began as a nonprofit substance use clinic in 1973 and has now grown to one of the largest behavioral health agencies in Oklahoma thanks to Nayfa’s 23 years of dedication to the organization.

“If somebody is in need of treatment, we’re always here,” she said

Nayfa will be recognized during the Dodgers’ game against the Tacoma Rainiers at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

“Through our partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, we want to help raise awareness on the topic of mental health by talking openly about the subject and providing educational resources,” OKC Dodgers President/General Manager Michael Byrnes said. “By sharing the personal stories of Oklahomans who have been impacted by, or work to provide, mental health and substance use services in our community, we want to help strike out the stigma and provide support to our fellow Oklahomans.”

Nayfa understands that addiction and substance use can be daunting, but she also knows there’s always hope. Catalyst offers programs in both Oklahoma City and Enid and on any given day is helping up to 400 people as help is offered to all Oklahomans regardless of where they live in the state.

“We want people to know there are ample opportunities and different varieties of treatment we can do to help the individual,” she said. “We just want to give them hope.”

Catalyst is part of a statewide treatment system offering a variety of mental health and substance use prevention, treatment and recovery options. The organization’s work to advance innovative approaches in treatment allows those they serve to receive advanced care and speed the process of recovery. In fact, Catalyst was an integral part in bringing medication assisted treatment services to Oklahoma and worked with other providers to expand availability.

Catalyst and other providers in the system receive funding from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) allowing persons to receive care regardless of ability to pay. Nayfa is beyond thankful for the relationship.

“We are beyond blessed to have them as support,” she said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”

She knows there’s long been a stigma associated with addiction and substance use and Catalyst focuses on trying to change that stigma, while also helping those struggling with addiction.

“We need to have compassion, mercy and tolerance,” she said.

She knows everyone is capable of transformation and it’s what she loves most about her job.

“To see them on the other side of that is truly a blessing,” she said.

To read Nayfa’s full story, visit the OKC Dodgers’ “Beyond the Bricks” website at: medium.com/beyond-the-bricks. Photos of Nayfa are attached for use (credit: OKC Dodgers).

The OKC Dodgers host ¡Celebración Cielo Azul! this week at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and their home series against the Tacoma Rainiers continues tonight at 7:05 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled to follow Friday night’s 7:05 p.m. game and the series continues at 7:05 p.m. Saturday with the Clubhouse Collectibles online auction, presented by The Oklahoman. The auction features game-worn, game-used and autographed Dodgers memorabilia that will be available for fans to bid on from 6-11 p.m. at milbauctions.com to benefit the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools. Following Sunday’s 2:05 p.m. series finale, kids can run the bases.

Dodgers players and coaches will wear Cielo Azul jerseys throughout the series and the gameday environment during ¡Celebración Cielo Azul! will feature Latin music, festive concourse decorations, unique entertainment, live performances and a Spanish-speaking public address announcer for select games. Specialty concession items and Cielo Azul merchandise will be available for purchase. In addition to the game action on the field, Clips N Hips will perform during Friday night’s game and Yúmare Mexican Folkloric Dancers, Inc., are set to perform Saturday and Sunday.

Since 2018, the Dodgers have participated in MiLB’s Copa de la Diversión, or Fun Cup, which is a season-long event series designed to embrace the culture and values that resonate most with participating teams’ local U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities, including creating unique on-field personas and gameday experiences. The name Cielo Azul translates to “Blue Sky.”

Tickets can be purchased through okcdodgers.com/tickets. Tickets purchased here include a $5 donation to the Latino Community Development Agency. The LCDA’s mission is to improve the quality of life in the Latino community through education, leadership, service and advocacy. For more information, please visit okcdodgers.com or call (405) 218-2182. 

Live radio coverage of each OKC Dodgers game begins 15 minutes before first pitch on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com and through the free iHeartRadio or MiLB First Pitch apps. OKC Dodgers games are also available streamed live on MiLB.TV with a subscription.