Release checklist can help navigate path from incarceration to care

A new ‘Release Checklist’ from ReEntry Mental Health Action Team will help families and friends plan and provide a continuum of care for persons with mental illness as they transition back to their communities after incarceration.

The Action Team meets every 4th Tuesday of the month at TVF&R Community Room, 20665 SW Blanton Street, Aloha. Contact them at remhaction@gmail.com.

Below is the text of the Release Checklist 2016 brochure, composed and produced by ReEntry Mental Health Action Team.

PERSONS WITH MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS
RELEASING FROM OREGON PRISON

A Guide for Families, Friends & Advocates
to Help Plan & Provide a Continuum of Care

Oregon Department of Corrections coordinates with the County to which the person will be released. The efforts of ODOC help to provide a continuum of care for persons with mental health needs after incarceration.

You can help ensure a continuum of care.

Person in custody must sign a Release of Information (ROI) form
so that confidential information can be released.

♦♦♦

ReleaseChecklist1

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A note to family & friends:
While in prison your loved one has been unable to make many decisions or have
control over his or her day-to-day life. As the day of release approaches, they may
become increasingly anxious and irritable. While very excited about finally leaving
prison, the reality of entering the unknown and succeeding in a much different world
can cause worry and stress. You may find your loved one’s behaviors so very different than what you expected. Encourage open communication. Be patient and supportive while allowing them time to adjust to their new life.

ORGANIZATIONS/GROUPS

  • Your local NAMI offers classes for families and friends and help accessing community mental health services. www.nami.org
  • Find out how you can help your recently or soon to be released loved one successfully re-enter our communities. Release Orientations are co-facilitated by Community Corrections and Oregon CURE. (CURE: Citizens United For Rehabilitation of Errants) http://oregoncure.org/orientations
  • ReEntry & Mental Health Action Team advocates for improved services for justice-involved persons with mental health challenges. Meetings are held monthly. remhaction@gmail.com

DEFINITIONS

APD: Aging & People with Disabilities
BHS: Behavioral Health Services
CCO: Coordinated Care Organization
Community Corrections: Supervises criminal offenders in the community, as opposed to confining them in secure correctional facilities.
DDS: Department of Developmental Services
DHS: Department of Human Services
DOC: Department of Corrections
Jail: Short-term incarceration in county/city facility.
Mentor: Person employed to assist releasing prisoners re-enter society; helps with housing, employment, etc. (person may have previously served time in jail/prison).
ODOC: Oregon Department of Corrections
OHP: Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid)
Parole Officer: Supervises former criminal offenders in the community after prison release.
PMHNP: Licensed psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
Prison: State correctional facility for long-term sentences.
Probation Officer: Supervises criminal offenders in the community who release from jail, etc.
ROI Release of Information form: When signed, allows release of specific information (medical, mental health, etc.)
SSA: Social Security Administration
SSI/SSDI: Social Security benefits (Supplemental Security Income; SS Disability Income)
DOC coding:
MH2:
 Severe mental health needs
MH3: Highest level of mental health needs
DD2: IQ 70-79 and moderately impaired functioning.
DD3: IQ below 70 and significantly impaired functioning.

ReEntry Action Team logo

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Emergency Rooms Become the Place of Last Resort for the Mentally Ill

From The Lund Report, May 27, 2016

Once the Unity Center opens later this year, people in crisis will have a calmer, more patient-focused option for care – possibly starting with a ride in an ambulance rather than a police car.

Describing a friend in crisis who spent more than 40 hours without care in an emergency room waiting for an inpatient psychiatric bed to open, Jason Renaud, founder of the Mental Health Association of Portland, says the system has “lost trust.” Renaud moderated an Oregon Health Forum event Wednesday on Portland’s mental health crisis.

“I wish that were an isolated situation and an outlier but tragically, it is not,” said Dr. Sharon Meieran who practices emergency medicine at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center.

Nationally, 80 percent of emergency room doctors think psychiatric boarding is the No. 1 issue, said Meieran who told about a 14-year-old boy in crisis held alone in a small room with no treatment, no school and no exercise for four weeks amid the hectic, chaotic noise of ER.

She recalled one person who had visited the ER more than 30 times in six months. His care manager had been unable to find him until his name appeared on the exchange and was connected to care. He hasn’t been back since, Meieran said.

“However bad it is in ER, it’s worse at the jail” where strip searches and other indignities further traumatize the mentally ill in crisis, said Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Edward Jones.

Among the homeless chronically mentally ill who Jones says “burn through community or family support,” determining who their care provider is or what medication they need is difficult with “HIPAA paranoia a major detriment.”

If the newly arrested is deemed incompetent– meaning unable to aid and assist in his own defense –the inmate is sent to the Oregon State Hospital.

In 2015, Multnomah County sent 114 defendants to that hospital — 48 of them charged with only misdemeanors. They spent a total of 4,000 days there at a cost of just under $3 million.

“And what did we get for our money?” Jones asked rhetorically. Those with misdemeanor charges “if they’d been sane, their cases would have been over in a week. This shows “how far from a rational statewide approach we are.”

Dr. Chris Farentinos, vice president of the Unity Center for Behavioral Health slated to open later this year, hopes the facility will provide a more rational approach.

For starters, the goal is to transport people in crisis there via ambulance rather than in a police car. They will rest on recliners in the midst of staff rather than alone in hospital beds.

During their stay – estimated to average 15-24 hours – patients will sleep off their intoxicants, get back on their prescribed medication and leave with a plan to continue treatment in their own community.

“If you don’t need to go to inpatient (care), believe me, you don’t want to go,” said Farentinos, adding that “some individuals have a real tough time going to treatment in a 9-to-5, Monday through Friday, ‘lamp and fern’ model.” Unity can become a catalyst for conversations with communities “to really go beyond to create hope and recovery.”

Keeping the mentally ill out of crisis can happen with help from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Reform, said Ellen Lowe, a community advocate, by funding housing and other social services. Oregon has such an opportunity when it submits a new waiver to fund the Oregon Health Plan for another five years. “It’s what happens between the courts, the jail and the emergency room,” Lowe said.

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What happened to Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps

Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps, 22, of Fairview, was shot and killed by Gresham Police officers Gavin Sasser and Kevin Carlson on May 24 as they responded to reports of domestic violence.

KGW.com, May 26, 2016

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Press release: Domestic violence suspect shot by officers

Gresham Police Department, FlashAlert.net, May 24, 2016

An early morning domestic violence incident between a man and woman culminated in an officer-involved shooting in the 18700 block of SE Grant St. The male suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

At 3:05 a.m. multiple witnesses called 911 to report an active, physical assault involving a man and woman. The first calls originated near the 800 block of SE 190th Ave., with reports that a woman was screaming for help and being forced into a vehicle against her will.

Minutes later, additional witnesses reported seeing the woman screaming and “banging” from inside the car in the 18900 block of SE Grant St., a cul-de-sac approximately 14 blocks south of the original calls.

Two officers located the couple and confronted the 22-year-old suspect. The man was in the roadway when he was shot.

No officers were injured and the current condition of the female victim is not known. No names are being released at this time.

Detectives assigned to Multnomah County’s Major Crimes Team are leading the investigation with the assistance of Portland Police. Per normal protocol, all officers directly involved in the incident have been placed on leave during the initial phases of the investigation.

The roadway surrounding the incident is expected to be closed until later this afternoon.

Detectives are hoping to talk with anyone who has information about this shooting and can be reached by calling the Gresham Police tip line at 503.618.2719.

No more information is available at this time.

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Police identify Fairview officers involved in fatal shooting

Portland Tribune, May 24, 2016

Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps

Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps

Gresham Police identified the two seasoned officers involved in Tuesday’s fatal shooting of domestic violence suspect Bodhi Phelps as Gavin Sasser and Kevin Carlson.

Early Tuesday, May 24, officers responded to multiple calls from two Gresham locations about a woman screaming for help and being taken into a car against her will.

During the incident, officers allegedly shot and killed 22 year-old Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps of Fairview.

Sasser has been with Gresham Police Department since August 2008. Carlson began his law enforcement career with the Oregon City Police Department more than four and a half years ago. He has lived in Gresham since August 2015.

Neighbors around the 800 block of Southeast 190th Avenue alerted police about 3 a.m. Tuesday, May 24, about the domestic violence incident. They were worried about a woman screaming for help and being forced into a vehicle against her will, the announcement said.

Callers told police they were watching a man, later identified as Phelps, push a 25-year-old woman into a silver four-door sedan. Phelps allegedly drove away with the woman before police arrived, Gresham Police said.

About six minutes later, other witnesses began calling and said they saw a woman screaming and banging from the inside of the car stopped on the side of the road near the 18900 block of Southeast Grant Street, about 14 blocks south of the location of the original calls.

The woman inside the vehicle called 911, reporting she had been assaulted by Phelps who was then outside the car.

Officers raced to the scene, arriving within about two minutes. Phelps, who is described as approximately 6-feet-2 and 195 pounds, allegedly ran from the officers and ignored their orders to stop, the police announcement said.

The two Gresham officers chased and confronted Phelps who then allegedly brandished two knives. Witnesses interviewed by police reported hearing numerous commands to “drop the knife” followed by gunshots.

Phelps died on scene. Tuesday afternoon, the state’s medical examiner confirmed Phelps died as a result of gunfire.

No officers were injured and the condition of the female has not been released.

At the time of his death, Phelps was wanted for three Multnomah County warrants: violation of probation for identity theft, violation of probation for possession of heroin, and a nationwide felony warrant for possession of heroin, the police announcement said.

The investigation is ongoing and will include a grand jury hearing. The names of the other people involved will be released at a later date.

Detectives assigned to Multnomah County’s Major Crimes Team want to talk with any witnesses who have not already come forward. They can be reached by calling the police tip line at 503-618-2719.

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Press release: Man killed in domestic violence incident identified

Gresham Police Department, FlashAlert.net, May 25, 2016

The 22-year-old man shot by police during yesterday’s early morning domestic violence incident is identified as Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps of Fairview. Yesterday afternoon, the state’s medical examiner confirmed Phelps died as a result of gunfire.

At 3:05 a.m. on May 24, police officers responded to the 800 block of SE 190th Ave. on what amounts to reports of a man assaulting and kidnapping a woman. Multiple witnesses called 911 while hearing the woman screaming, seeing the assault and watching the suspect, Phelps, force a 25-year-old woman into a silver 4-door sedan against her will. Phelps drove away with the victim before police arrived.

According to call records, approximately six minutes later witnesses in the 18900 block of SE Grant St. observed a woman screaming and banging from inside a silver car that was stopped on the side of the road. An update was given that the victim was also calling 911, reporting she had been assaulted by Phelps who was then outside the car. The woman believed Phelps had multiple felony warrants for his arrest.

Officers arrived within approximately two minutes, as witnesses reported Phelps was trying to get back into the car where the victim was. Phelps, who was approximately 6 feet 2 inches tall and 195 pounds, ran from the officers and ignored orders to stop. The two officers gave chase and confronted Phelps who then brandished two knives. Witnesses reported hearing numerous commands to “drop the knife” followed by gunshots.

At the time of his death, Phelps was wanted for three Multnomah County warrants: violation of probation for identity theft, violation of probation for possession of heroin, and a nationwide felony warrant for possession of heroin.

The investigation is ongoing and will include a grand jury hearing. The names of the other parties involved will be released at a later date.

Detectives assigned to Multnomah County’s Major Crimes Team want to talk with any witnesses who have not already come forward. They can be reached by calling the police tip line at 503.618.2719.

No more information is available at this time.

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Man killed by Gresham PD ‘recruiter in theft ring’

KOIN 6 News, May 25, 2016

Scene of shooting in Gresham

Scene of shooting in Gresham

The man shot and killed by Gresham police Tuesday morning had three outstanding warrants for his arrest and was considered a recruiter in a theft ring, KOIN 6 News has learned.

Bodhi Wilson Dean Phelps, 22, was shot and killed after police responded to reports of an “active” domestic violence situation near the intersection of 187th and Grant.The first calls for help originated near the 800 block of SE 190th Avenue with reports that a woman was screaming for help and being forced into a vehicle against her will, according to police. Minutes later, witnesses reported seeing the woman screaming and “banging” from inside the car in the 18900 block of SE Grant Street, police said.

Gresham police said two of their officers located Phelps and confronted him. Phelps brandished 2 knives and police commanded him to “drop the knife,” officials said.

Phelps was in the roadway when he was shot, police said.

In Oct. 2014, Phelps was convicted of one count of ID theft. He was sentenced to probation and two days in jail.

In Feb. 2015, Phelps was convicted of attempting to unlawfully possess heroin. He received probation.

KOIN 6 News reported in 2013 that Phelps was considered a top lieutenant and was accused of being a recruiter in a theft ring that stole $140,000.

The use of force will be reviewed by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

The name of the officers involved were released Thursday. Officer Gavin Sasser has worked for the Gresham Police Department since 2008. Officer Kevin Carlson has been in law enforcement for more than 4 years but was hired by the Gresham department in 2015.

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Opinion: Stop using the term ‘substance abuse’

By Jason Renaud and Jenny Westberg, Street Roots, May 26, 2016

"Shame" by Max Klinger

“Shame” by Max Klinger

“What’s in a name?” Juliet muses from the balcony. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Shakespeare raises a good point: Most things are not fundamentally altered by changing what we call them. But hate speech has its own rules.

What we’re talking about is the widespread use of the term “substance abuse.”

The term “substance abuse” perpetuates ignorant and moralistic attitudes toward people with chemical dependency. Few health professionals have the nerve to openly oppose the disease nature of chemical dependency because the facts of both science and insurance reimbursement stand in their way. Yet many of these same professionals still blame the victims of the disease for the problems which the disease causes. We who care for addicts and alcoholics face diminished hopes when we fail to challenge such attitudes.

Tagging something “abusive” implies both wrongfulness and willfulness. Child abuse can be prosecuted. Spousal abusers can be charged with a crime. You may abuse a privilege, a right or your authority, but excessive eating isn’t called “food abuse” and reckless driving isn’t called “gas pedal abuse.” The word “abuse” evokes something ugly, contemptible, abhorrent. It heaps more shame on individuals who are already sick and suffering. It helps keep them in denial – and at arm’s length.

“Abuse,” you may concede, can be a confusing word, but what is so objectionable about the word “substance”? At first glance the word seems merely vague, but deeper study reveals “substance” to be, in this context, intentional confusion. The word has been made into an instrument of denial. “Substance abuse” has served the interests of those who would criticize the drug involvements of others but excuse such use (including the use of alcohol) in themselves. Popular mental theories of the late ’60s and early ’70s popularized the term.

These mental theories tried to explain most life problems, including alcohol and drug problems, as basically arising from errors in upbringing. An overweight person was trying to compensate for some childhood upset by comforting the now-adult self with food. Food, a neutral substance, became a problem because of how the person chose to use it. Fashionable mental opinion at the time gave no value to the concept that genetic factors might affect weight gain. Back then, fat people were seen as “self-destructive,” if not just foolish or ignorant or weak and lacking willpower.

According to the same theories, a tobacco smoker was seen to be compensating for interruption of breastfeeding or some other oral deprivation. Quitting tobacco was hard simply because the user had become conditioned to the habit of smoking.

Clearly, then, smokers could have psychotherapy for their oral fixation or deconditioning for their behavior problem and be cured. Again, the substance of tobacco was not seen at the problem. Only today do we know nicotine is more addictive than even opioids, and willpower is irrelevant. But back then, smokers were just seen as people who were unwilling to change.

Convenient rationale

“Substance,” in the late 60s and early 70s, thus began to be defined in the sense of any material thing that was neutral in itself, but could be abused by mistake or perverse actions.  This definition turned out to be a convenient rationale. Those doing the defining, by and large, were people who themselves used drugs. Among them were mentally-oriented opinion leaders who, in search of an interesting livelihood, had become involved in various aspects of alcohol and drug problems. These opinion leaders included drug counselors, various flavors of therapists, writers, researchers and bureaucrats. This was a group strongly influenced by the drug experimentation fad then present among many educated, middle-class professionals. As one prominent promoter of the fad wrote in 1972, “I will insist that we accept the fact that drugs — intelligently used as tools to enter other states of consciousness — are potentially beneficial,” and “the drug problem is an effect of conceptions about drugs and…it can only be solved by changing those conceptual models.” (Andrew Weill, The Natural Mind, Houghton Mifflin, 1972).

Drugs as a tool of wisdom

So the term “substance” helped the new drug enthusiasts to feel better about their own choices and convince others as well. Like Weill, they believed that drugs themselves weren’t a problem, just how people felt about them. As long as drugs were feared, drugs would be troublesome. When drugs were no longer feared, the former source of trouble could become a source of wisdom. If drugs were just another substance, like food or tobacco, that could be used depending upon the choice of the enlightened person, then what was the problem with a bit of drug experimentation? Because, after all, who will admit to being among the non-enlightened? Given this analysis, drug experimenters could rationalize any ill effects. They could reassure themselves that the people who did actually develop problems with drug or alcohol use did so out of ignorance and narrow-mindedness. Such persons were clearly to blame for their own difficulties.

Today, the term “substance abuse” has become a socially convenient code phrase. On one hand, it sounds technical, professional, and therefore, permissible. On the other, by the negative associations with the word “abuse,” it expresses the real disdain which most people who use the term actually feel for addicts and alcoholics. Use of a code word allows the satisfaction of looking down on others while appearing not to. Disdain itself thus becomes deniable.

The willful abuse of alcohol and other drugs is concerning. However, abuse is not a major issue as compared to dependency. The area of abuse has more to do with law enforcement and behavior modification, while dependence deals with a disease process. Professionals have sincere disagreements as to the exact boundary between abuse and dependence, but none argue that they are the same thing.

The tail of the elephant

So how is it that common parlance has come to let the word “abuse,” especially in the form “substance abuse,” serve an entire field? Why is the addiction profession’s highest level of government visibility called the “Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration” (SAMHSA)? Because the part is trying to stand for the whole, the tail defining the elephant. Even SAMHSA itself, as far back as 1988, declared: “When talking or writing about alcohol or other drugs, there are phrases that SAMHSA recommends and supports over previously used phrases … To emphasize that alcohol is a drug, it is recommended that the phrase ‘[use of] alcohol and other drugs’ be used instead of ‘substance abuse.’”

The cause for why this negative terminology persists lies in the semi-hidden public hostility toward chemically dependent people. Powerful interest groups stand to gain from continuation of this hostility. These interests excel in the manipulation of such code words to control public attitudes. They label addicts and alcoholics as “abusers” to paint these ill people as perpetrators, not victims. The heat thus moves away from the alcohol sellers and drug-pushing pharmaceutical companies. Blame shifts to those victims and brands them as self-gratifying misusers of otherwise benign products.

By blaming addicts and alcoholics as abusers, public officials justify police and jail as substitutes for treatment. They champion “safe” injection sites as a cheap way to get addicts off the streets, where the upright citizens don’t have to look at them. Out of sight, out of mind, out of the budget. So long as chemically dependent people are blamed for their illness, insurance companies will continue to refuse proper reimbursement for care. Employers, housers, governments and schools will continue to discriminate against them.

Even knowledgeable organizations all around our state use “substance abuse” and “addiction and alcoholism” interchangeably. It’s not just offensive, it’s dangerous. When addiction and alcoholism are viewed as a deliberate behavior or a choice, inappropriately trained people will try to treat it. Physicians, psychologists, social workers and miscellaneous therapists, without any sort of chemical dependency certification, will feel themselves qualified to treat and fail to refer. Their ineffectiveness is widely documented and costs lives.

Addiction can happen to anyone, including you. When you talk about alcoholics and addicts, drop the scornful language that accuses us, shames us and keeps us away from treatment. Show some respect for your fellow human beings. We are all in this together.

Jason Renaud and Jenny Westberg are with the Mental Health Association of Portland. Reprinted with permission from Counselor magazine.

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U.S. spends more on mental health care than any other condition

HealthcareDIVE, May 20, 2016

Dollar bills blister pack

Dive Brief:

  • Spending on mental disorders in the U.S. was $201 billion in 2013, beating out all other medical conditions, according to a study in the latest issue of Health Affairs.
  • Of that amount, more than 40% was related to spending for institutionalized care.
  • Rounding out the top 10 most costly medical conditions were heart problems, trauma, cancer, pulmonary disorders, osteoarthritis, normal birth, diabetes, kidney disease and hypertension.

Dive Insight:

To arrive at the estimates, study author Charles Roehrig adjusted National Health Expenditure Accounts data on spending in a number of service categories to bring them in line with other data sources and then apportioned that across various populations: Civilian noninstitutionalized, nursing home residents, long-term psychiatric hospital patients, prisoners, and active duty military.

Heart and trauma, numbers two and three on the list, trailed mental disorders at a considerable distance, with $147 billion and $143 billion in spending, respectively. Fourth was cancer, at $122 billion, with pulmonary conditions coming in fifth at $95 billion.

While spending on mental disorders outpaced other conditions, growth in spending was only 5.6% during the study period — not even making the top 10.

The four conditions with the fastest spending growth between 1996 and 2013 were gallbladder, pancreatic or liver disease; hyperlipidemia; upper gastrointestinal tract disorders; and lupus or connective tissue disorders. Each of these had an average annual growth rate of 10%.

“Nearly all of the ten fastest-growing medical conditions in terms of spending are associated with obesity,” wrote Roehrig, director of the Center for Sustainable Health Spending in Ann Arbor, MI. “However, most of the spending growth rates are far too high to be fully explained by obesity-induced increases in disease prevalence.”

“A more important factor appears to be the introduction of expensive new treatments that reach increasingly larger segments of the affected population over time, causing treated prevalence to rise much faster than the prevalence of the disease,” he stated.

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#ManInTree creates ornaments to raise money for bond, charities

KATU, May 10, 2016

Cody Lee Miller, camped out in an 80' tree

Cody Lee Miller, camped out in an 80′ tree

When Cody Lee Miller climbed an 80-foot tree in downtown Seattle, the story got a lot of traction on Twitter (#manintree); onlookers chanted and laughed.

“Issue appears to be between the man and the tree,” Seattle police tweeted.

Ornaments-5Miller was briefly hospitalized and then jailed, held on $50,000 bail for malicious conduct and assault.

Jake McKown of Portland was not amused.

“Clearly there was a mental health issue,’ McKown said. “Nobody was talking about getting this man help. The judge told him to have no unwanted conduct with the tree — he was making fun of him.”

Ornaments-3McKown – who said his own family has been touched by mental illness — decided to shed a light on the issue of mental health, a huge problem in American jails and prisons. So he designed an ornament based on Miller and called it Man in the Tree.

Ornaments-4The wooden ornament resembles a bearded Viking and measures about 3 inches high.

“A friend and I came up with the idea of having your own man in your tree, McKown said.” People who have the ornament can share the story.”

McKown said the proceeds from sale of the ornaments will be used to post Miller’s bail “and get him the help he needs,” McKown explained.

Proceeds from the sale of the ornaments will go to pay Miller’s bail, with additional proceeds going to Friends of Trees in Portland and the One Mind Institute.

The ornaments can be ordered online at maninthetree.com for $12.99 plus $4 shipping.

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New film on mental health issues, ‘The Videoblogs,’ will hit Portland May 21

                                                                Greetings,

My name is Sean Mannion and I’m a producer for the film The Videoblogs. The Videoblogs is an independent feature film about a young woman whose life takes a surprising turn after a teenager discovers her private video journal. The film, at its core, is about three women forming a bond and a mutually supportive community as they open up to each other about the mental health issues they face.

The Videoblogs filmmakers Michael DiBiasio and Rebecca De Ornelas are traveling around the U.S. in May with the film for Mental Health Awareness month. They’ve already screened the film in New York, Providence, and Sarasota. On the tour they will also be hitting  Denver, Los Angeles, Boston, and Detroit. On Saturday May 21st they’ll be screening the film in Portland.  We are partnering with mental health organizations in the areas we’re traveling to to promote the screenings and to promote discussion during the post-screening Q&A about mental health.

Following our Providence Screening Mary Harrington, Board Member for Mental Health Rhode Island said:  “Your film beautifully illustrates how healing and empowering connections with people who get you and with whom you don’t have to hide your pain and who don’t judge you are.”

We’d love to have Mental Health Portland join us at The Clinton Street Theater Saturday May 21st at 2:30PM for our screening of The Videoblogs.

For more information about the film please visit us at: http://www.videoblogsfilm.com

You can watch the film’s trailer here:

If you have any questions, I’m happy to address them. Email me at <sean@sean-mannion.com>.

Thank you,

Sean Mannion, Producer, The Videoblogs

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Matt Klug v. City of Portland, continued…

After a year of investigation and delay the Portland City Council-appointed Citizen Review Commission met last night to review the case of Matthew Klug.

After 45 minutes of self-indulgent delay, the CRC bumbled through its agenda before conceding they had little to add to the Portland Police Bureau’s exoneration of two Portland police officers’ rough take down and multiple Tasering of Klug. It’s likely CRC members used the wrong Taser policy to judge Klug’s case, and city attorneys sitting in the room failed to advise them otherwise.

What happened to Matt Klug is of interest to people with mental illness, and perhaps of interest to people interested in justice, because the scenario approximates what happened to James Chasse. We addressed Chasse in the documentary film, Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse. His brutal death propelled a national conversation about police harm to people with mental illness.

Fortunately Klug wasn’t killed by cops. But in ten years of advocacy and introspection it’s hard to discern any reform by Portland’s police in their routine harm to people with mental illness. The Federal suit, US DOJ v. City of Portland has had no measurable effect (it may, but the PPB and DOJ shifted metrics, or failed to collect them, so it will be years to see benefit). Independent efforts to reform police or provide additional services to people with mental illness to reduce acuity have been marginal and misguided.

Here’s a blow-by-blow of the May 4, 2016 hearing. Klug lost.

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