Unfuck Your Brain: Using Science to Get Over Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Freak-outs, and Triggers

Review of Unfuck Your Brain: Using Science to Get Over Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Freak-outs, and Triggers, by Faith Harper and published by Microcosm Publishing, by Meredith Mathis.

See – Unfuck Your Brain: Using Science to Work Through Your Shit via Kickstarter, help get this book on tape.

Faith G. Harper is a experienced mental health provider. She is a trauma-informed therapist, a licensed clinician with certificates in sexology, integrated life coaching, and clinical nutrition, and is a board supervisor and a teacher. Harper’s goal is to cram what she has learned from decades of being in the field into a digestible, helpful guide for anyone looking to understand and begin working through their trauma informed physical and emotional responses to the world around them. Harper writes that the biggest takeaway from this book, if any, should be that these responses to the world, be they anger, anxiety, addiction or “the rest of it” are adaptive.

Harper communicates that these adaptive strategies are learned behaviors which made sense in the circumstances in which they were developed. By somehow breaking down something as complex as neurobiology in a very accessible way, Harper explains how and why the brain/body develops the way it does after traumatic events, and how this causes us to develop behaviors that negatively affect our daily life. From there, she explains how to undo, rework, or ‘unfuck’ as she would say, the feedback loop of our neurological responses and our behaviors. She offers hope that learning the what’s and how’s of it all can begin a process of regaining a sense of agency in your life. Or, as she wrote more clearly, “…this book is about the why you are miserable so you can do something about it.”

Unfuck Your Brain makes both academic and professional information accessible. The complexities of a topic are reworded, broken down, and organized in a way that making it much easier to read and understand without sacrificing nuance. Alongside the scientific explanations of it all, Harper offers practical advice, guidelines, treatment options and small exercises a reader can use to start locating their own feelings, responses, needs, etc. The book mirrors a lot of what someone might learn through either years of studying in the field, or even from years of being a patient with a good trauma-informed therapist. Harper makes no overstated promises, just gives thorough guidelines, and encouragement that it is possible to learn your particularities and (re)adapt for a better life, even if yours is a complicated, difficult, and long process.

For every chapter and subsection of this book, I thought of a new handful of friends and family who I wanted to share it with. It is many resources in one. Beyond establishing trauma as a key element in forming behavioral patterns, it covers dynamics of anxiety, PTSD, depression, grief, anger, addiction and more; it is thorough. I found myself simultaneously wanting to share it with a partner who I thought could benefit from certain sections, while wanting them to read other sections to better understand things I go through. It’s a good guide for anyone affected by these topics, or people who are close to people who are, which is a lot of people. It’s potentially helpful for people who don’t necessarily need therapy, for people who are in therapy and could use some new guidelines and strategies, and/or most people who have difficulty naming and acting on what’s going on with them … again, a lot of people.

I’m thankful I read it, I will probably read it again, and I will definitely be recommending it to most of my friends, family and mental healthcare providers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Universal Health Services wants a new hospital in Oregon

This is an archive of documents pertaining to the petition by Universal Health Services to the State of Oregon to build a 100 bed private psychiatric hospital in Wilsonville, Oregon. The petition application for “NEWCO” began in Fall of 2016. The Mental Health Association of Portland is an affected party to the petition.

Universal Health Services, also functioning under the name Fairfax Behavioral Health, has private psychiatric hospitals in Everett, Monroe and Kirkland Washington, and has proposed new facilities in Thurston and Spokane Counties. In Oregon, Universal Health Services owns Cedar Hills Hospital.


Mental Health Provider NEWCO Oregon Inc. Pursues Antitrust Lawsuit Against Oregon Health Authority – press release
Tort claim notice alleges OHA promoted anti-competitive collusion between Portland-area hospital monopolies
August 16, 2017

Wilsonville psychiatric hospital applicant sues Oregon Health Authority
June 23, 2017
OHA rejects proposed 100-bed psychiatric hospital in Wilsonville
February 24, 2017

National health care firm proposing $36M psychiatric hospital in Wilsonville – Oregon Business Journal, October 2016

Wilsonville’s Development Review Board Panel B approves mental health hospital application, Facility would focus on serving adolescent patients – Portland Tribune, February 2016


NEWCO’s initial application and attached documents (PDF – 614 pages / 412 MB – via dropbox)

Letter of Intent from Lifeways Inc., a proposed 16 bed psychiatric hospital in Hermiston, October 2016

Meeting Announcement for Certificate of Need for NEWCO, to occur November 17, 2016.

Letter from NAMI Oregon requesting “affected party status,” October 2016

Letter from OHA to Fairfax Behavioral Health System about incomplete application from NEWCO, September 2016

Cedar Hills Hospital basic financial records for 2013-2016

Universal Health Services – 2015 Annual Report

Universal Health Services & “Willamette Valley Behavioral Health” – PATIENT WINDOW SIGHTLINE DIAGRAM (2015)

Universal Health Services – “Wilsonville Behavioral Health Hospital” – “Response to OHA CON Comments,” October 2016

UHS “Willamette Valley Behavioral Health” patient schedule – October 2016

Cover Letter to OHA from Fairfax Behavioral Health, October 2016

Responses to OHA questions about NEWCO – unsigned & undated, but likely from Fairfax Behavioral Health and associated with cover letter above.

Universal Health Services – “Wilsonville Behavioral Health Hospital” – floor plan of proposed hospital, October 2016

Cover letter and responses to OHA questions about NEWCO, August 2016

Cover letter and responses to OHA questions about NEWCO<, March 2016

Cover letter and responses to OHA questions about NEWCO, June 2016

Cover letter and responses to OHA questions about NEWCO June 28, 2016

Metro West Ambulance rescinding letter of support, September 2016

These documents have not been titled or dated yet.

NEWCO Responce

SEIU Comment re UHS-NewCo CON Wilsonville (final)

Transcript of Public Hearing_2016-11-17

Comment Letter to CN Program Revised FinalDec1

Attachmentsfor CON ltr12022016






OR Police calls CEdar Hills 10300 SW Eastridge St

Audrey S_BlachlyLE




Wilsonville Mayor’s Ltr of Comment – UHS Hearing 11_17_2016







DRO testimony re NEWCO 11-23-16

Letter to Janet Fussell Dated Novemer 282016

NEWCO CON Testimony — NAMI Oregon

Comment Letter to CN Program Revised FinalDec1



Rescinding Letter of Support 9-26-16

SEIU Affected Party Status Request

NEWCODROaffected 11-3-16


NEWCO SEIU Affected 11-09-2016

NEWCO SEIU Affected 11-09-2016


Kasper Affected Party Status Application for App Number 765

NEWCO Legacy Affected 09-10-16



Providence_NEWCO CON_Affected party 111016


Emergency Department Boarding of Psychiatric Patients in Oregon – A Report to Oregon Health Authority – FULL VERSION, October 28, 2016
=Emergency Department Boarding of Psychiatric Patients in Oregon – A Report to Oregon Health Authority – BRIEF VERSION, October 28, 2016
Jangho Yoon, PhD
Jeff Luck, PhD
Megan Cahn, PhD
Linh Bui, MIPH
Diana Govier, MPH

response letter 010417

White Paper Response_Final 010917- 1st Version


RESPONCE REQUESTED — OHA – Request for extention of time for NEWCO (CN#675)

Cedar Hills Email

FW NEWCO CN #675 Delayed Decision

Occupancy Rates

NEWCO Responce

LegacyResponse to reconsideration hearing3172017



Signed Ltr to Selover re Req. for Hearing

NEWCO Oregon Inc. Request for Informal Hearing

email correspondence for the NEWCO Certificate of Need (#675) application – 1 2017

Letter from Fussell to NEWCO – 9 2016

Public Meeting Notice 10-28-16


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Medical Expert Reports on Marijuana Problems in Colorado

Libby Stuyt, MD spoke at the Oregon Health Forum with Drs. Esther Choo of OHSU and Katrina Hedberg who is the State Epidemiologist and State Health Officer at the Oregon Public Health Division, and at the Oregon Law & Mental Health Conference in June 2017 on the unintended consequences of marijuana legalization.

Stuyt is an addictions psychiatrist and medical director at the Colorado State Hospital in Pueblo. She is also the president of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association.

Stuyt has a unique and expert view on the effect of increased marijuana availability and use, and as Colorado is about two years ahead of Oregon in the process of legalization and regulation of marijuana.

Stuyt’s data is from information collected by the state of Colorado and from her experience as a clinician and researcher.

  • Colorado has had significant increase in marijuana use by people under 18 years old. All use by under-age persons is illicit use. Most Colorado youth get marijuana from adults they know – not from retail stores.
  • Pueblo Colorado, with a population of 106,000 has over 7000 homeless people (Portland with a population of 583,000 has about 4500); many are people who arrived seeking employment in the marijuana industry.
  • 13% of children given CBD for seizure disorders have had “really bad” reactions; the CBD made seizures worse.
  • Estimates of marijuana addiction at 9-10% is from research on low-potency THC; this data should no longer be used. Scientists don’t know addiction rate to high potency THC, but use by youth is increasing, for daily users addiction rate is about 50%, withdrawal is harder, and violence associated with high potency THC is higher.
  • Stuyt calls marijuana addiction a “learning disorder.”
  • Marijuana use significantly reduces neurogenesis in the brain.
  • Doctors are seeing more psychosis related to high-potency THC marijuana.
  • 75% of Stuyt’s patients have PTSD. 83% of her patients are seeking treatment for marijuana addiction. Marijuana masks symptoms of marijuana, it does not treat or cure PTSD. PTSD is treatable and curable – but not with active marijuana use.
  • Increased correlation – not causation – of suicide in adolescents who use marijuana.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On the Plan for Portland Commission on Community-Engaged Policing

Testimony to Portland City Council – August 3, 2017
From the Mental Health Association of Portland
On the Plan for Portland Commission on Community-Engaged Policing – ITEM #872

The proposal to make changes to the settlement agreement reopens the agreement, but doesn’t include the community in those change decisions, and doesn’t go far enough to fulfill the goal of the settlement – to rebuild trust with the police around harm to people with mental illness.

My suggestion is to repair – not repeal and replace.

The COAB failed because of city-led management, not because of its inherent structure. There were problems with the structure – but those were not what caused the COAB to be criticized or fail. Poor management led to mistrust within the COAB, which led to mistrust by community members. Police brutality is a hot issue. Don’t think people should be calm and reasonable. That’s not a smart management approach.

Four distinct problems with the proposal.

One – private meetings doing public business. That’s a non-starter. I can’t endorse private meetings doing public business.

Two – The proposed plan knocks off independent assessment of the agreement. No good. Others will speak about this.

Three – Too few people involved. It’s fair to say 5 – 9 people don’t represent Portland so there will be discontent about representation. Review what you’re asking volunteers to do. Even with new management, we’re going to be back here in a year asking why items have been ignored. It’s too much work and volunteers will end up relying on staff. That’s not community oversight.

Four – exclusive mayoral control gets the council off the hook. The council needs to stay on engaged – not as monitors but as legislators. Why? Because the DOJ won’t be here forever and this council needs to learn how police oversight works. You need to each stay thoroughly woke.

Please understand – harm to people with mental illness is not a Portland problem. Though most persons killed by Portland police for the past decade have been people in a mental health crisis, the same fact is true for all the police departments of Multnomah County, Washington County, Clackamas, and Clark County.

SEE – list of all persons killed by law enforcement in Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah and Washington counties – 2010-2017

This is not exclusively a Portland problem. It’s not exclusively a police problem. It’s a multi-government multi-system problem where the state, counties, sheriffs and police chiefs and DAs, parole and probation, community mental and addiction health providers, as well as community members need to be part of the solution.

The sooner this council comes to understand this is a systemic problem, the sooner your people will stop killing my people.

testimony provided by
Jason Renaud – Board Secretary

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment