Over the years, the Mental Health Association of Portland has tried to improve the community’s awareness about mental illness and addiction, often through this web site, by posting articles from local newspaper and academic web sites specifically about local issues.
We choose this strategy because it plays directly to one of our community’s strengths – and strengths are rare in community mental health. Oregon has a set of reporters and editors which both understand the impact of mental illness and addiction, and have the skills to shape this important story for their various readerships. The Oregonian leads the nation in accurate reportage and sage editorials – including winning a Pulitzer in 2006 for commentary about conditions at the Oregon State Hospital.
But other papers do a good job as well. Notable is the Salem Statesman Journal’s reporting about the Oregon State Hospital, the Portland Mercury’s reporting about city and county politics, and the suburban papers of the Tribune. We’re very grateful for this reporting. Because of the chronic disenfranchisement of persons with mental illness and addictions, because of poor political leadership and constant underfunding, our community doesn’t have the wherewithal to describe itself. And so we rely on news articles.
We re-post fully articles because collectively they tell the story of mental illness and addiction in Portland and in Oregon. Together they make a more substantial whole, greater than the sum of its individual parts, and together they become something different, something unique. We also re-post full articles because newspaper web sites change daily – some change hourly – and important stories can be missed.
If any copyright owner objects to our usage, feel free to email us. We’re glad to remove articles at the owner’s request.