Mental Health Association of Portland

Oregon's independent and impartial mental health advocate

About Us

The Mental Health Association of Portland is the state’s impartial and independent advocate for persons with mental illness and addiction. Our task is to help persons with a diagnosis of mental illness or addiction speak up and speak out – and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

The organization was formed in 2003 by persons directly affected by public policies to be a voice at the table. In 2010, The Oregonian editors called the organization, “Oregon’s foremost independent advocate for persons with mental illness and addiction.” We have applied direct pressure for patient-centered change to mayors, commissioners, governors, executive directors, publishers and editors, doctors, lawyers and judges.

For the Media: Download Media Guide – Your Language Matters When Writing About Mental Illness. If you’re a member of the media, we will ask you to read this document prior to speaking with one of our representatives.

Our advocacy at the Oregon State Hospital to build a memorial for 3700 deceased patients made the New York Times front page, won The Oregonian a Pulitzer and launched an investigation which got the hospital rebuilt. Our emeritus Board president is a current inmate of the hospital.

Our advocacy on behalf of persons routinely harmed by the Portland police has been front page news since the death of James Chasse in 2006. The leveraged effect has changed both policies and procedures by patrol officers, jail deputies, prosecuting and defense attorneys, judges and court administrators. Our critically acclaimed documentary film, Alien Boy, is touring festivals for the Spring of 2013. Production of Alien Boy was our only significant cost for 2010-2013.

We routinely host large informational meetings about public policy and mental health were we invite local agencies to ‘sponsor’ the event by inviting their own clients, staff and friends to attend. These events have included meetings with the city’s leading politicians, artists, political protests and media events, including the first gathering of person ruled guilty but insane outside of barbed wire.

The organization provides information to the public through our web site. With links to over 3000 articles and documents about Oregon mental health it is perhaps the largest web site dedicated to mental health advocacy. The site is updated daily and has over 10,000 subscribers through Facebook, Twitter and RSS. No profit is made from the site.

About Fair Use: Oregon advocates for persons with mental illness and addiction need a careful, impartial, independent history of policy, events and persons. Prior to this site no history existed. We collect and maintain copyrighted articles because they include, for now, the best documentation of what has happened to persons with mental illness in Oregon. Library sites are secured from non-members and for-profit news sites routinely delete archives, so we secure these articles, attributed and linked when possible, for future historians and advocates. We have worked with dozens of Oregon journalists and no one has asked for an article to be removed.

The organization is lean and mean. We have no staff, no office, no assets over $1000, no debts and no obligation to mince words about the state of Oregon’s mental health system. We are mad dog advocates.

The Mental Health Association of Portland is a 501 C 3 nonprofit organization, tax identification 20-0138570, governed by a volunteer board of directors. The organization is funded entirely through individual donations and receives no church, foundation, government or corporate funding.  The organization maintains an advisory council for individual advocacy tasks.

The organization is the state’s impartial and independent advocate for persons with mental illness and addiction. Our task is to help persons with a diagnosis of mental illness or addiction speak up and speak out – and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

For an inventory of some of our past and present advocacy projects, click RECENT PROJECTS tab, above.

We do not give individual, legal, medical or clinical advice, provide any direct services, or keep legal or medical records.

If you are seeking an advocate for yourself, send us an email for our list of recommended attorneys, social workers and community mental health agencies in your area. If you are seeking an advocate for friend, colleague or family member, have them send us a note.

We provide basic research about public and private mental and addiction health services in Oregon for academics, journalists, governments and their contractors, and private companies or individuals. We charge $250 per hour with an upfront $3000 retainer. We do not supply informant contact information for reporters or academics. If cost is daunting to you, we suggest starting with the search box in the left-hand column of this page. Email info@mentalhealthportland.org for more information.

We provide training about public and private mental and addiction health services in Oregon for private companies or individuals. We charge $250 per hour with an upfront $3000 retainer. Email info@mentalhealthportland.org for more information.

Board of Directors

Jenny Westberg – Writer and advocate
Jason Renaud – Secretary
Michael Hopcroft – Writer and advocate
Jeffrey Donohoe, CPA – Treasurer
Will Hall, MA, Dipl.PW

Advisory Council

Karl Anderson is software engineer creator of the organization’s still secret ‘Plan B.’
Rachael Duke is Manager of Operations and Partnerships at Home Forward’s Bud Clark Commons.
Bob Joondeph, JD, has been the Executive Director of Disability Rights Oregon since 1991.
Brian Lindstrom is a teacher, filmmaker, and director of Alien Boy: the Death and Life of James Chasse.
James Mazzocco has a public relations and advertising background, and is the organization’s unofficial dungeonmaster.
Marc Moscato is an art and history evangelist, Director of the Know Your City and frequent collaborator.
Zeb Larson is a student of history.

Contact Us

By mail: PO Box 3641 Portland, Oregon 97208
By email: info@mentalhealthportland.org