The MHASD Director and staff work with the Oregon Health Authority, city, state and federal legislators, providers, advocates and consumers to design the best possible system of care for Multnomah County.

Summer 2018

The deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain earlier this summer were a stark reminder of how common mental health issues are and how important it is for people to know help is available and recovery can happen.  

Nonstop news coverage helped shed light on the tragedy of suicide. We appreciated public figures who spoke openly about stigma and the need for all of us to talk about mental health. On social media, people across the world shared their own stories of living with mental illness.

David Hidalgo portrait
David Hidalgo, Division Director

Here’s what we know. One in five of us will experience a mental health issue in our lifetime. That’s twice the amount of Americans living with diabetes. But too often, stigma prevents us from talking about mental health issues as openly as other health conditions, even though mental health is equally important.

Now is the time for us to keep the conversation going.

At Multnomah County, we believe in talking openly about mental health and making sure that support is available for those who need it. Toward that end, we’re launching a public education campaign on TriMet this summer to help reduce stigma and increase awareness. Over the next several months, dozens of buses and benches throughout our community will display the portraits pictured above.

By using storytelling to shed light on mental illness, our goal is to show our community that mental health issues affect people of all walks of life and that people can get help and recover. And, importantly, anyone in Multnomah County can receive around-the-clock mental health support by dialing our Mental Health Call Center(link is external) at 503-988-4888. Our services include:

  • 24/7 crisis support

  • Suicide intervention

  • Insurance help

  • Assistance in finding a provider

  • Authorization for advanced mental health services

  • Access to addiction treatment

We all benefit when we live in a community that values mental wellness. To improve our mental wellness, we need to be able to talk openly about mental health. If you or someone you know is struggling, take the first step. Call the Mental Health Call Center at 503-988-4888 or access free, private support from the Employee Assistance Program. Experts in our community are here to listen.