All Stacked Up And No Place To Go

Psychiatric patients are being warehoused in Portland’s emergency rooms in growing numbers.

News Stories
Jennifer Ann has found herself in Portland emergency rooms more than two dozen times in the past 20 years—almost always for the same reason.  “Usually I go,” she says, “because I fe   More
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 NIGEL JAQUISS

CORRECTED: Portland's Suicide Rate Three Times National Average, Portland Police Say


CORRECTION AND UPDATE 12/3/2013: This blog post relies on statistics provided by the Portland Police Bureau that greatly overstated the Portland suicide rate compared to that of the United States as a whole.ORIGINAL POST:The Portland Police released an analysis of suicides in the city this morning, and the results are grim: Portland's suicide rate is about three times the national average. The ...   More
Monday, September 30, 2013 ANDREA DAMEWOOD

Self-Help, Now Just a Click Away


It’s a new year, and plenty of people are on a self-improvement kick—but many resolutions require more than a solemn vow.Now Portland has a self-help clearing house.A new website,, lets Oregonians search for dozens of local, free self-help groups and professional associations to help with problems ranging from anger management to alcoholism and grieving to compulsive gambling. ...   More
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 ANDREA DAMEWOOD

State Academy Bulks Up Mental Health Training


Portland’s police aren’t the only ones beefing up mental health training.The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training—where all new police recruits get basic training—recently approved adding three hours of mental health training.The change adds three hours to mental health and disabilities classes, bringing the total amount new cops spend on the topic over the 16-week course ...   More
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 ANDREA DAMEWOOD

Oregon Health Authority Joins Portland Police on DOJ Watchlist


Here’s a U.S. Department of Justice agreement a lot of people have overlooked: the state of Oregon is on the hook to make sure its mental health programs are not violating the Americans with Disability Act. The DOJ has had the state under investigation since 2010. Under the ADA, a state cannot segregate individuals with disabilities—including severe and persistent mental illness—in institutional ...   More
Monday, December 3, 2012 ANDREA DAMEWOOD

Just 15 Percent of Portland Patrol Cops Sign Up for Crisis Intervention Team Duty

Portland Police Badge

(Updated Nov. 27)Fifty six Portland Police Officers tossed their names in to serve on the bureau's soon-to-be expanded Crisis Intervention Team, a police spokesman tells WW.Not long after the Department of Justice released its report finding PPB officers have a pattern and practice of using excessive force on those with mental illness, Chief Mike Reese announced the city would create a 24-hour intervention ...   More
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 ANDREA DAMEWOOD

Portland Police, U.S. Department of Justice, Release Agreement on Mental Health Reforms


The U.S. Department of Justice and the city of Portland released a settlement agreement Friday on changes the city must make in order to stay out of court, in the wake of the DOJ’s findings that police have a pattern of using excessive force against the mentally ill.The agreement ramps up both internal and external supervision of the department, expands police crisis training and response and further ...   More
Friday, October 26, 2012 ANDREA DAMEWOOD

City Club Committee Slams Multnomah County on Mental Health Treatment


 The City Club of Portland today issued a study blasting Multnomah County's management of public mental-health services.The 42-page report (PDF), titled Improving the Delivery of Mental Health Services in Multnomah County, hammers county managers for operating under an opaque budget, failing to assess treatment outcomes and allowing needy patients to fall through the cracks."'Blow up the system ...   More
Thursday, March 31, 2011 JAMES PITKIN

Are Psychiatric Drugs Doing More Harm Than Good? A Q & A with Journalist Robert Whitaker


When Robert Whitaker was working as a medical reporter, he came across a series of studies he found disturbing. One examined the risk of early deaths among patients on anti-psychotic medications. Another found that outcomes for schizophrenia patients had seen no improvement in a century, and had in fact worsened in recent years. Those studies prompted Whitaker, who's speaking in Portland this week, ...   More
Sunday, February 6, 2011 REBECCA JACOBSON

City Hall: Mental Health Funding and the Mayor's 2011 State of the City Speech

Mental Health

Mayor Sam Adams' annual state-of-the-city address takes place on Feb. 18, less than a month from now. And if you're wondering what the mayor may highlight at the City Club of Portland event, let us help narrow the field. Mental health won't be the only topic the mayor discusses, but it will be on his list. Last year, Portland's 2010-11 budget offered a relatively modest allocation of $540,000 ...   More
Friday, January 21, 2011 BETH SLOVIC


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