August 24, 2018

We have a fantastic lineup of offerings at our annual conference, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Holiday Inn (formerly Red Lion Hotel) in Salem.

Among the highlights:

Andrew Grover, Executive Director, Youth Villages Oregon, will give the keynote speech, presenting how crisis support through an emergency room diversion program can help prevent minors from being hospitalized, and help families connect with effective services at home and in the community. Breakout workshops on Oregon ABLE savings accounts Read More
    Tenth Annual Smith Award Dinner Oct. 4

    Join us and Sen. Gordon and Sharon Smith as we celebrate 10 years! We will honor Oregon State Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, and State Rep. Andy Olson, R-Albany, at our 10th Annual Gordon and Sharon Smith New Freedom Award Dinner on Oct. 4 in Portland at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront.

    The reception opens at 6:00 pm with dinner and program starting promptly at 7:00.  Sponsorships and individual tickets can be purchased at or by calling 503-230-8009.

    Created Read More

    August 24, 2018 | By Keiko Purnell

    My last depressive episode left me completely isolated. I didn’t respond to messages for months. Since I didn’t know how long I would be depressed, answering the question “how are you?” became emotionally draining. Actually, that one question was why I stopped talking to people entirely.

    “How are you?” is such a knee-jerk opening line to a conversation; most of us don’t even realize we’re saying it, or pay much attention to the typical response Read More

    By Jonathan Berg

    I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder when I was 14. It has taken me decades to come to grips with what that means, and to be in a place where I’m comfortable talking openly about it. Nowadays, I’m really open, because I work as a travel blogger, connecting with people and places for a living. I actually started my career at a nonprofit office job, thinking that was what I wanted. But the traditional professional life was something Read More

    August 10, 2018 | By Kristian Foden-Vencil

    The Oregon Department of Corrections cut the ribbon on a new behavioral health unit at the state penitentiary in Salem on Friday.

    A couple of years ago, an investigation by Disability Rights Oregon found that inmates with mental illness at the state penitentiary spent only about an hour a day outside their cells.

    Now, by lifting nine mobile buildings over the prison wall, the state has opened a new unit so those inmates can get more Read More

    Spreading Hope Through Peer Support

    August 1, 2018 | By Michael Haines

    What does it mean to be a peer support specialist?

    To me, it means providing a voice for people when they struggle in finding their own. It means advocating for people, encouraging their recoveries and even sometimes standing in courtrooms as a show of support. And it often means educating community members and outside providers about First Episode Psychosis (FEP) programs like the Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA)—a program where I transformed from a Read More

    July 17, 2018 | By Adrienne Kennedy

    On June 30, among the 15 of my board member peers, I was elected to serve as President of the NAMI Board of Directors for 2018/2019. I am honored and humbled to be provided the opportunity to represent the hundreds of thousands of families, peers and avid supporters who comprise this important movement.

    When I found NAMI in 2005, our son and our family had logged 6 years coping with serious mental illness: five Read More

    July 3, 2018 | By Nick Budnick

    Thanks to the unfulfilled promise of state health reforms, the local mental health system is not much of a system, according to a new report. Rather, it is a confusing and fragmented labyrinth whose different parts don’t work well together, making it difficult to navigate for the people who need it most.

    The $60,000 study, done for Multnomah County by Boston-based consultant Human Services Research Institute, concluded that the county needs a mental health leader Read More

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