Boxes stacked to the ceiling could block doors and windows and prevent a firefighter from entering a home in an emergency. Objects scattered on the floor could cause a senior to trip, fall and suffer a serious injury. Clutter or garbage collected over time could cause respiratory infection and other health problems.
These are just a few of the dangers of hoarding, a disorder that not only afflicts nearly five percent of people in America, but also has broader impacts on a hoarder’s family, friends, neighbors and community.
Compulsive hoarding, or the acquisition of and inability to discard items that appear to be useless or of little value, is recognized by psychiatrists as an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The Multnomah County Hoarding Task Force and Portland State University's School of Social Work are offering a free, day-long interactive training program that will give attendees an opportunity to:
Gain an understanding of the problem of hoarding
Learn effective assessment tools
Learn skills for empathic, evidence-based interventions
The program, called "Too Much Stuff," will be facilitated by Christiana Bratiotis, Ph. D., LCSW, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Portland State University, and Jesse Edsell-Vetter, Hoarding Intervention Coordinator for Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership.
Human service professionals in the fields of child welfare, older adult and disability services, developmental disabilities and mental health, as well as home care workers, first responders, professionals from the fields of health care, public health, housing, inspectional services, animal welfare and legal services are encouraged to attend.
What: "Too Much Stuff" hoarding training program
When: Tuesday, March 22, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: City Bible Church, 9200 NE Fremont St. in Portland
The registration deadline is Wednesday, March 16. Information regarding registration can be found on the event website.
Christiana Bratiotis is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Portland State University. Bratiotis is a sought-after expert in mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy and the hoarding disorder. She is the author of “The Hoarding Handbook: A Guide for Human Services Professionals.” Before joining PSU, Bratiotis taught at the University of Nebraska Omaha School of Social Work and Boston University.
Jesse Edsell-Vetter is the Hoarding Intervention Coordinator for Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, where he developed an intervention model that has served as a resource for educational institutions, government, human service agencies, legislators, social service providers and other organizations. He serves on the Massachusetts Steering Committee on Compulsive Hoarding.
The Multnomah County Hoarding Task Force formed in 2013 to provide education, resources and support to community members who suffer from or are affected by hoarding disorder.