The Mental Health Association of Portland is the Oregon’s impartial and independent advocate for persons with mental illness and addiction. Our task is to help persons with mental illness or addiction speak up and speak out – and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. It is a 501 C 3 nonprofit organization, tax identification 20-0138570, governed by peer volunteers since 2003. The organization maintains advisory councils and committees for individual educational and advocacy projects.
Our advocacy experience is strong. In 2003 our advocacy at the Oregon State Hospital made the New York Times front page, won The Oregonian a Pulitzer, and launched an investigation which got the hospital rebuilt. Our advocacy on behalf of persons routinely harmed by law enforcement has been front page news since the death of James Chasse in 2006. Our advocacy has changed policies and procedures by patrol officers, jail deputies, prosecuting and defense attorneys, judges and court administrators. Our critically acclaimed documentary film, Alien Boy, is nationally distributed through Breaking Glass Pictures.
The organization provides education through the website and conferences. With links to over 20,000 articles and documents about mental illness and addiction in Oregon, it is perhaps the largest web site dedicated to mental health advocacy. The site is updated daily and has over 50,000 subscribers through email, Facebook, Twitter and an eventual reach of over 1.4 million.
The organization is the host of the Northwest Law & Mental Health Conference, held annually in the Spring, and the Oregon Housing Conference, held annually in the Fall. The Mental Health Alliance is a program of the organization.
For an inventory of some of our past and present advocacy projects, click PROJECTS tab, above.
The organization provides technical support for projects designed and provided by people with mental illness and addiction. If you need help with a project, let us know.
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.
Board of Directors
Jenny Westberg – Journalist – on medical hiatus
Jason Renaud – Consultant
Chandler Kerns – Recovery advocate
Michael Hopcroft – Medical records administrator
Jeffrey Donohoe, CPA – Accountant
Sandra Chisholm, MPA, is a founding board member of the Mental Health Association of Portland.
Kevin Fitts has been an advocate for people with mental illness for over thirty years.
Brenton Gicker is an Emergency Medical Technician with CAHOOTS in Eugene.
Bob Joondeph, J.D., is Executive Director of Disability Rights Oregon.
Zeb Larson is a doctoral student of history at Ohio State University.
Matthew Klug is a bike and police accountability advocate.
Brian Lindstrom is a teacher, filmmaker, and director of Alien Boy: the Death and Life of James Chasse.
Stephanie Matheson is a nonprofit administrator, photographer and public speaker.
Dean Mathiesen is a performer, collector and arts impresario.
Meredith Mathis is a writer living in Portland.
Patrick Nolen is a homelessness and public housing advocate.
Juan C. Chavez is a civil rights attorney.
Conference Planning Committees
Morgyn Beckman, MD – is a psychiatric physician who works for Multnomah County
Alison Bort, PhD, JD – is Executive Director of the Psychiatric Security Review Board
Judge Juliet Britton – Beaverton Municipal Court
Beckie Child, MSW, is a nationally recognized mental health advocate and instructor at Portland State University’s School of Social Work.
Emily Cooper, JD is Legal Director of Disability Rights Oregon
Rachael Duke is Executive Director of Community Partners for Affordable Housing
Jim Hlava – is Housing Director of Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare
Andy Miller – is Executive Director of Human Solutions
Tim Murphy – is CEO of Bridgeway Recovery Services
Lisa Naito – owns Naito Public Affairs
Oregon History Committee
David Cutler, MD – is a lifetime distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Barry Kast, MSW – former Assistant Director for Health Services in the Department of Human Services
Bob Nikkel, MSW – Executive Director of the Mad in America Continuing Education Project
Mental Health Alliance
Juan Chavez, JD is Director of the Civil Rights Project at the Oregon Justice Resource Center
Jan Friedman, JD is staff attorney for Disability Rights Oregon
Bob Joondeph, JD is Executive Director of Disability Rights Oregon
Derald Walker, PhD is Executive Director of Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare
Ursula Le Guin Memorial Artwork Fund
Notable Former Board and Advisory Council Members
Roy Silberstein, PhC – Founder of the Mental Health Association of Portland
Will Hall – Counselor and public speaker
Chris O’Connor, J.D. – Metropolitan Public Defender Services
By mail: PO Box 3641 Portland, Oregon 97208
By email: email@example.com