About Us

The Mental Health Association of Portland is 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, and is a member of the Oregon Council for Behavioral Health.

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 and award-winning documentary film from 2014, Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse has been distributed internationally.

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 2.4 million per year.

The organization is the host of the Law & Mental Health Conference, held annually in the Spring, and the Oregon Housing Conference, held annually in the Fall. The Mental Health Alliance and Alternative Mobile Services Association are programs of the organization.

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

Sandra Chisholm MPA is a retired healthcare administrator
Jeffrey Donohoe, CPA is a small business accountant licensed in Oregon & Washington State
Meredith Mathis, JD is a graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School
Jason Renaud is a nonprofit consultant
Amanda J. Marshall, JD is an attorney in private practice in Clackamas County
Mary-Margaret Wheeler-Weber MA is an administrative assistant for Multnomah County
Irene Kalonji is the founder of the Pacific NW Family Circle
Tara Candela JD, MSN, PMHNP-BC is a psychiatric nurse practioner in private practice.

Advisory Council

Julia Baker is a yoga teacher and trainer for teens with mental illness and prisoners
Kevin Fitts has been an advocate for people with mental illness for over thirty years
Brenton Gicker RN, EMT is an Emergency Medical Technician with CAHOOTS in Eugene
Robin James MLS is Librarian for the Alternative Mobile Services Association
Brian Lindstrom is a teacher, filmmaker, and director of Alien Boy: the Death and Life of James Chasse
Patrick Nolen is a member of the Portland Peace Team
Jamie Spinelli is the Homelessness Coordinator for the City of Vancouver
Michael Hopcroft is an author and retired medical records administrator

Conference Planning Committees

Alison Bort PhD, JD is Executive Director of the Psychiatric Security Review Board
Judge Juliet Britton presides at the Beaverton Municipal Court
Judge Adrian Brown serves on Oregon’s 4th Judicial District Circuit Court.
Beckie Child MSW is Professor of Practice at Utica’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 Whole Healthcare
Eric Martin, MAC, CADC III, PRC, CPS is staff at the Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon
Andy Miller is Executive Director of Human Solutions
Tim Murphy MSW is CEO of Bridgeway Recovery Services

Oregon History Committee

David Cutler MD is a lifetime distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.
Barry Kast MSW is former Assistant Director for Health Services in the Department of Human Services
Bob Nikkel MSW is the Executive Director of the Mad in America Continuing Education Project
Zeb Larson PhD is a teacher of history at Ohio State University
James Toews is former Director of Developmental Disability Services
Grace Heckenberg is a retired administrator from the City of Portland

Mental Health Alliance

Juan Carlos Chavez JD is Director of the Civil Rights Project for the Oregon Justice Resource Center
Rabbi Ariel Stone leads the Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance
Rochelle Silver PhD is a retired public health administrator
Mark Chasse, JD is a real estate attorney and an advocate
Javonnie Shearn is former chair of the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Committee
KC Lewis JD, is with Metropolitan Public Defenders
Jonathan Brown, PhD MPP was a research scientist with the Kaiser Foundation
Eben Hoffer is a theatre artist and arts activist
Beatrix Li is a community organizaer
Dave Boyer, MS, JD is a managing attorney with Disability Rights Oregon
Aimee Sukol, JD MA MS Ed is Principal at Sukol Venture Consulting
Karen James is a contributor to KBOO’s Prison Pipeline and former chair of the Washington County Behavioral Health Advisory Council
Deena Feldes is Executive Director of Transcending Hope
Amanda Lamb, JD is Law Enforcement Resource Counsel for the Oregon Justice Resource Center
Franz Bruggermeier, JD is Associate Director of the Civil Rights Project for the Oregon Justice Resource Center
Beckie Child, MSW is Professor of Practice at Utica University
Autumn Modest is an architect and interior designer

MHAP – Board of Directors 2023


Roy Silberstein, first MHAP Board President & Founder

Notable Former Board and Advisory Council Members
Roy Silberstein PhC was the founder of the Mental Health Association of Portland
Will Hall is a counselor and public speaker
Chris O’Connor JD is with Metropolitan Public Defender Services
Jenny Westberg is a writer and journalist

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