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.

Spring/Summer 2017

Spring is finally upon us! With the change of seasons, I’m excited to update you on the work we’ve accomplished and some of our community events taking place in the coming months.

This has been an exciting year for our Mental Health and Addiction Services Team. With help from our community partners, we’ve been working hard to raise awareness about mental health and ensure everyone in our community has access to treatment. Here are a few highlights from the past six months:

  • Our Office of Consumer Engagement became fully operational. The team is composed of staff recovering from mental health and addiction issues. In the early stages of their work, they’ve helped raise the voice of peers—people with lived experience—in the work we do every day.
  • We unveiled the Multnomah Intensive Transition Team. The team connects people who have been hospitalized for a mental health issue with a community-based mental health provider. So far, they’ve helped two-thirds of consumers access recovery services within seven days.
  • The Addictions Benefit Coordination (ABC) team began treating individuals in our community. Now, when anyone contacts the Multnomah County Mental Health Call Center at (503) 988-4888 they can access addiction recovery services. 
  • Our team has doubled the amount of young people accessing mental health services. We prioritize treatment for mental health issues at the earliest possible point.
  • We’ve reduced the number of people in Multnomah County experiencing mental health issues from our hospitals and jails. That’s important because we know people must receive treatment in the least restrictive setting in order to achieve the best recovery.
  • Our division responded immediately to community emergencies. Following several incidents including this year’s deadly winter storms, the NW 23rd explosion and the Hotel Alder fire, we’ve provided immediate and ongoing mental health support.

We celebrate these accomplishments but also look forward to the work ahead of us. This spring, we’ll proclaim May as Mental Health Month in Multnomah County. This year’s theme highlights the value of early treatment and prevention services. We invite you to attend this important annual event that raises awareness about mental health in our community. The event will take place on Thursday, May 18 in the Multnomah County Board Room at about 11 am.

Hopefully you are also able to participate in this year’s NAMIWalks event. We’ll have a booth and our staff will also be walking to reduce stigma about mental health issues. If you’d like to join us, come to the Eastbank Esplanade on Sunday, May 21 at 1 pm and look for the Mental Health and Addiction Services Division booth. Together, we can raise awareness about mental health and send a message that people can and do recover from mental illness.

Promoting mental health is a community effort. You can do your part by speaking out against stigma and by helping your friends and family know how to access treatment. If you want to know about the resources in Multnomah County, call our 24/7 Call Center at 503-988-4888 or visit our crisis page. We’re always here to help.

I'm interested in your thoughts and comments about our work. You can submit your ideas to me using the feedback page. Time may not allow for me to personally respond but I will read every submission.

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